Comprehension is always high on the list of teachers concerns about their students reading ability. It has always been an almost constant goal for my students of every level throughout each year. As teachers and advanced readers we know that if our students can just ‘get’ this, they will soar and develop the love of reading which is the main reason I teach teach reading.
“When a teacher actively uses reciprocal teaching in most readings required of students, reading levels increase one to two grade levels in three to six months” (Stricklin, 2011, as cited in Oczkus, 2005; Spörer, Brunstein, & Kieschke, 2009).
What is Reciprocal Reading?
Reciprocal reading (also known as Reciprocal Teaching) is a teaching model that allows teacher and students to scaffold and contract meaning around a section of text in a social setting by using think-alouds, discussion, and modelling. In the beginning the teacher models and scaffolds the four strategies of summarising, questioning, clarifying, and predicting until students are ready to start assuming the role of guiding each others comprehension through these strategies.
What are the benefits of Reciprocal Reading?
- Improved understanding and use of these four reading strategies.
- Improved reading comprehension through the use of these four reading strategies.
- Provides a safe group environment to explore unknown vocabulary and ideas.
- Enable students to reflect on their understanding and develop higher order thinking skills.
- This one strategy can be used to develop literacy and comprehension across all learning areas.
- Allows the teacher to be able to step back and be the guide on the side.
- Give students voice and the power to teach and learn from each other.
- It can be used with any text type or media.
- It can be used with learners of all ages.
- Allows all learners (including ESOL) to access the curriculum through social support.
"The findings have pedagogical implications for the ESOL classroom in Malaysia, as the results show a significant impact on the reading comprehension of the students"
The Reading Matrix, Volumn 11, Number 2, April 2011 Retrieved from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/april_2011/choo_eng_ahmad.pdf
There are many free reciprocal reading resources online and I encourage you to give it a go, you and your students will benefit. If you want all the resources provided and read to print, you can visit my TeachersPayTeachers site to get my reciprocal reading packs for junior and more advanced readers (available in US and British spelling).