Paired Reading

Instructional Practice
Oral Reading Fluency
Tier II


Target Student

Individuals who struggles with reading printed words fluently.


In paired reading, students read aloud to each other with more fluent readers paired with those that are less fluent. Paired reading can be used with any book or text in a variety of content areas, and can be implemented in a variety of ways.


This is an instructional practice. An instruction practice is a teaching method that guides interactions in the classroom and supports student learning. Instructional practices involve an educator using particular method, practice, or protocol during instruction.

How To

There are many variations of Paired Reading; this basic model can be adapted.

Pair students either by same reading ability or by high-level readers with low level readers. Be sensitive to pairings of students with special needs, including learning or emotional needs.

Introduce the strategy to the students. This involves establishing a routine for students to adopt so that they know the step-by-step requirements for engaging in paired reading (i.e. Will they read out loud, simultaneously? Will they take turns with each person reading a paragraph? a page? Or will one person read while the other person listens?).

Teach students an error-correction procedure to use when supporting each other's reading (i.e. re-reading misread words; signals for difficulty).

Model the procedure to ensure that students understand how to use the strategy.

Ask students to begin reading in pairs and adjust reading speed if reading simultaneously so they stay together. Have students offer feedback and praise frequently for correct reading. Monitor and support students as they work.


Topping, K. K. (2014). Paired reading and related methods for improving fluency. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 7(1), 57-70.

O’Riordan, J. (2013). An investigation into the effectiveness of paired reading on the reading of children with dyslexia. Reach, 27(1), 3-17.

Jordan, M. (2012). Paired reading: The use of a cross-age peer-tutoring programme between transition year students and first year students. Reach, 26(1), 45-55.

Shah-Wundenberg, M., Wyse, D., & Chaplain, R. (2013). Parents helping their children learn to read: The effectiveness of paired reading and hearing reading in a developing country context. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 13(4), 471-500. doi:10.1177/1468798412438067

MacDonald, P. P. (2010). Paired reading: a structured approach to raising attainment in literacy. Support For Learning, 25(1), 15-23. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9604.2009.01434.x

Baker, D. d., Park, Y., Baker, S. K., Basaraba, D. L., Kame'enui, E. J., & Beck, C. T. (2012). Effects of a paired bilingual reading program and an English-only program on the reading performance of English learners in Grades 1–3. Journal of School Psychology, 50(6), 737-758. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2012.09.002

Related Resources

The Iris Center Paired Reading Module

Paired Reading Video

Read Write Think Paired Reading Strategy Guide

Related Websites

Intervention Central

Reading Rockets

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