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Paired Reading

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What is Paired Reading?


It's simply reading a book together and it is very effective in bringing on reading skills.

A child who is assisted with paired reading can improve three times more quickly than a child without.

It encourages fluency in reading and reading with expression.

It helps improve word recognition.

It promotes a better understanding of what is read.

Have a look at these videos to get a feel for the paired reading approach to improving literacy.

An overview & sample of paired reading (1min 7 sec)

A step-by-step guide to paired reading (12 min 39 sec)


There are plenty of other very useful videos on paired or supported reading on YouTube.

Steps in Paired Reading


It's not just for school based reading material, it's also for library and personal books! School readers may be easier to start off with.


Step 1 You and your child read the text out loud together

  • Match your reading speed to your child's reading speed.
  • The child must read every word.
  • Sometimes using a finger to point to the words as they are read helps to focus.


What about difficult words?
a. If your child struggles with a word and gets it wrong, simply say the word to continue on with the reading.
b. Make sure the child says the word and then continues to read.
c. If the child struggles but gets the word, show them you are pleased.


Step 2 Reading Alone

  • If your child is confident enough, allow them to read alone.
  • Follow the reading as you would in Step 1.
  • Help the child as in Step 1 also.
  • Allow the child to flag when they want to read alone and when they want to read together.


Are there rules for Paired Reading?


Rule 1 You need a book and one the child likes.

Rule 2 Ten minitues each day & no more than fifteen minutes.

Rule 3 Do not do Paired Reading when there is something else to do that is really interesting.

Rule 4 Do the reading in a quiet place that is comfortable and you can be side-by-side with your child.


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