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Paired Reading: A Simple Reading Fluency Intervention


Paired Reading is an easy academic intervention that involves the student reading out loud in tandem with another helping reader. Paired Reading has been considered easy and effective at enhancing reading fluency. Some of the benefits of Paired Reading are that it is free and only requires reading material. There is a tendency for parents and teachers to think this intervention is too easy, that is, something this simple can’t possibly work, but on the contrary, it works quite well.

Procedures for Paired Reading:

  1. The helping reader should sit with the student and place the book so both readers can see it.
  2. Prior to reading, the student should be informed that he or she should signal when the student wants to read alone.
  3. Both readers start reading aloud until the student signals to read alone. The helping reader should continue to read along silently.
  4. If the student hesitates or makes an error while reading, the helping reader should point to the word, say it, and have the student repeat the word.
  5. Both readers continue to read until the student signals to read alone again.

Adapted from:

MacDonald, P. (2010). Paired reading: A structured approach to raising attainment in literacy. Support for Learning, 25, 15-23.

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

Topping, K. (1992). Paired reading: A review of the literature. Research Papers in Education, 7, 199-246.

Topping, K. (1987). Paired reading: A powerful technique for parent use. Reading Teacher, 40, 608-614.


For more information on implementing this intervention, or for other reading interventions, please contact us at or 865-974-6177.