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ERIC Number: ED531596
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 45
Peer-Assisted Learning/Literacy Strategies. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report
What Works Clearinghouse
"Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies" and a similar program known as "Peer-Assisted Literacy Strategies" are peer-tutoring programs that supplement the primary reading curriculum (Fuchs, Fuchs, Kazdan, & Allen, 1999; Mathes & Babyak, 2001). This review uses the acronym "PALS" to encompass both programs and their respective full names when referring to a specific program. Students in "PALS" classrooms work in pairs on reading activities intended to improve reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. Students in the pairs--who alternately take on the role of tutor and tutee--read aloud, listen to their partner read, and provide feedback during various structured activities. Teachers train students to use the following learning strategies: passage reading with partners, paragraph "shrinking" (or describing the main idea), and prediction relay (predicting what is likely to happen next in the passage). "PALS" includes separate versions for kindergarten and grade 1. "Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies" also includes versions for grades 2-3 (which are part of a larger set produced for grades 2-6). Forty-five studies reviewed by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) investigated the effects of "PALS" on beginning readers. Two studies (McMaster, Fuchs, Fuchs, & Compton, 2005; Stein, Berends, Fuchs, McMaster, Saenz, Yen, & Compton, 2008) are randomized controlled trials that meet WWC evidence standards. One study (Mathes & Babyak, 2001) is a randomized controlled trial that meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. These three studies are summarized in this report. The remaining 42 studies do not meet either WWC eligibility screens or evidence standards. Appended are: (1) Research details for McMaster et al. (2005); (2) Research details for Stein et al. (2008); (3) Research details for Mathes & Babyak (2001); (4) Outcome measures for each domain; (5) Findings included in the rating for the alphabetics domain; (6) Findings included in the rating for the fluency domain; (7) Findings included in the rating for the comprehension domain; and (8) Single-case design studies reviewed for this intervention. A glossary of terms is included. (Contains 8 tables and 11 endnotes.)
What Works Clearinghouse. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 866-503-6114; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Grade 1; Kindergarten; Primary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota; Tennessee; Texas
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Individual Achievement Test; Woodcock Reading Mastery Test