• Queen's University Belfast

Using Peer Tutoring to Improve Student Reading

Find out how to improve the reading of students aged 8-14 years old, by using the peer tutoring method.

2,506 enrolled on this course

Two girls reading together
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Help your students develop their literacy skills

It’s estimated that one-fifth of children living in developed countries now leave school with poor reading skills.

Reading is an important skill for all school children, as it’s the key to accessing all areas of the curriculum.

On this course, you’ll learn how to help 8-14 year old students improve their literacy skills, by using the peer tutoring method.

You’ll explore the evidence that supports the use of this technique and apply it to your own practice.

You’ll learn how to use the peer tutoring method to develop your students’ social skills.

You’ll get access to a set of downloadable resources.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 21 seconds Hello, I’m Allen Thurston. Welcome to this course on the use of peer tutoring to improve student reading. This three week course will help guide you in an implementation of a successful paired reading technique for use with children aged 8 to 14 years old. The technique used is informed by extensive research and is a form of peer tutoring. That’s when we put two children together to share a book, and we assign specific roles to children as either tutor– that will be the older child, acting as a teacher– and tutee, the younger child. The benefits of the peer tutoring program include improved reading for the tutee, but even more so for the tutor.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds Studies have shown that there are social and communication benefits, with tutors responding positively to the responsibilities and trust placed in them. Children engage enthusiastically in the process. The technique provides children with an ownership of their learning. They make friends through the technique, have increased confidence, and learn how to communicate more effectively– not only in the classroom, but also at home. With paired reading, it is easier for children to learn how to pronounce new words. Not only do we look at the mechanics of reading, but also the meaning of text. The course is not only aimed at primary and teachers in high, or secondary school, settings.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 seconds It’s also aimed at childcare specialists, and those who work in non-educational settings or home education programs. And it’s generally for anyone whose interested in the promotion of reading skills and literacy in children. A range of free and user friendly resources have been made available to support you, to get you started with implementing the technique. So I hope that you can join us on this course for what will be a valuable learning experience for you, and also for the children that are in your care.

What topics will you cover?

  • Use of a paired reading as a pedagogic technique in educational or non-educational settings
  • Evidence that supports the use of peer tutoring as a means to improve reading
  • Explore participants own experiences of using peer learning
  • The technique of paired reading
  • How to structure peer tutoring in reading
  • How to establish peer tutoring in reading in educational/childcare settings
  • The benefits of using peer tutoring to promote learning
  • Understanding the research behind peer tutoring
  • Developing social and communications skills for and through peer learning
  • Planning and trouble shooting advice to embed paired reading in an educational or non-educational setting

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the evidence that underpins the use of peer tutoring as a means to improve reading for students aged 8-14 years-old
  • Examine (and apply) in which settings and contexts peer tutoring should be used as a means to improve reading for students aged 8-14 years-old
  • Develop the skills of how to use peer tutoring as a means to improve reading for students aged 8-14 years-old in educational/childcare settings
  • Reflect and discuss how to develop social and communication skills in students aged 8-14 years-old

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at KS2 and KS3 school teachers (those teaching students aged 8-14 years old). It will also be of interest to practitioners in educational or childcare settings, parents engaged in home education programmes with their children, and those with an interest in teaching reading or literacy.

Who will you learn with?

Allen is Professor of Education at Queen's University Belfast. His research focuses on using cooperative learning strategies to promote learning for children.

Maria is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Evidence & Social Innovation, Queen's University Belfast, interested in cooperative learning in literacy.

Who developed the course?

Queen's University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast is a member of the Russell Group of 24 leading UK research-intensive universities.

Endorsers and supporters

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