Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) Category: Language/Reading Grade Level: Grade 2-6 (Extensions available for K, Grade 1 and High School) which time students work in 1. What is the purpose of Peer- tutor-tutee dyads Assisted Learning Strategies? - pairs are composed of one PALS is an instructional strategy higher-performing student and developed to enhance students’ literacy one lower-performing student development and beliefs about reading - tutor-tutee roles are reciprocal within a peer mediated framework. 3) Teams and Points 2. With whom can it be used? - PALS uses a motivational system Originally developed for grades 2 in which each tutor-tutee pair is through 6, PALS now has extensions assigned to one of two class available for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and teams High School. PALS can be used with - teams receive points for children of various ages and varying completing reading activities and reading abilities. demonstrating proper tutoring behavior 3. What is the format for using Peer- - every 4 weeks pairs and teams Assisted Learning Strategies? are recreated Through structured activities, students work in tutor-tutee pairs. The activities Each PALS session is comprised of 3 require frequent verbal interaction and activities: feedback between tutors and tutees, as 1) partner reading well as reciprocity of tutoring roles. – designed to improve reading fluency and accuracy Elementary PALS: – each student within a dyad reads 1) Training Sessions aloud for 5 minutes, with the - classroom teacher conducts 6 to higher-performing student 10 scripted lessons, ranging from reading first and the lower- 30 to 60 minutes each performing student rereading the - training sessions involve brief passage teacher presentations, student – tutor points out word-reading recitation of information and errors application of principles, and – tutee retells the passage at end of teacher feedback activity 2) Pairing Sessions 2) paragraph shrinking - three 35 minute PALS sessions – designed to develop are conducted each week during comprehension through summarization and main idea identification – students read orally and identify First Grade PALS the main idea of each paragraph First grade PALS also uses the tutor- – tutor guides idea identification tutee dyadic relationship and the through established questions motivational team approach. There are – tutee then summarizes main idea two versions of PALS for first grade: in 10 words or less PALS-Only and PALS+Fluency. Both programs are similar in make up, with 3) prediction relay the exception that PALS+Fluency – designed to develop and includes activities designed to enhance automate students’ abilities to reading fluency. formulate and (dis)confirm predictions Grade One PALS-Only and – tutee predicts story content, reads PALS+Fluency differ from the aloud, confirms or disconfirms elementary and high school versions in hypothesis, and summarizes the that: main idea – tutor corrects tutee’s reading 1) each PALS session is started with errors, judges whether prediction teacher instruction was reasonable and if not, asks 2) the activities are more suited to the for another prediction reading level of grade 1 students - 4 Sounds and Words activities High School PALS: - Partner Reading, similar to the The High School extension of PALS is advanced PALS activity, is similar to the elementary version in that introduced during the 4th week of it also uses the tutor-tutee dyadic PALS relationship, the 3 PALS activities and the motivational team approach. Kindergarten PALS Kindergarten PALS also uses tutor-tutee It varies in that: dyadic relationships. Similar to Grade 1 1) the dyads are mixed up more PALS, the kindergarten version also uses frequently, often on a daily basis different activities that are more suited to 2) the motivational system incorporates beginning readers. a more structured adult-oriented work theme and allows students to 1) focus is on phonological awareness, earn PALS dollars that can be used sound-letter correspondence, to purchase desirable donated items decoding and fluency 3) reading material covers expository, 2) only two activities are used: rather than narrative, text and - Sound Play (addressing rhyming, involves content that is more isolation of first sounds, ending applicable to the students’ lives sounds, etc.) - Sounds and Words (addresses decoding) 4. In what types of settings should Remedial and Special Education, Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies be 22(1), 15-21. used? PALS may be used within the regular Resources: classroom with all students participating. 1. Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L.S., Mathes, P.G., & Simmons, D.C. (1996). Peer- 5. To what extent has research shown assisted learning strategies in Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to reading: A manual. Unpublished be useful? manuscript, Vanderbuilt University Research has shown PALS to be an at Nashville, TN. effective reading intervention program. Improvements in students’ reading Reviewed by: Laura-Lynn Stewart fluency and comprehension have been noted for learning disabled, low achieving and average achieving students. With regards to the PALS extensions, High School PALS has been shown to effectively promote literacy among seriously reading-delayed adolescents. Kindergarten PALS research has shown positive improvements in phonological awareness and significant increases in the children’s reading competence overall. Research on the First Grade PALS extension is pending. References: 1. Fuchs, L.S., Fuchs, D., Kazdan, S. (1999). Effects of peer-assisted learning strategies on high school students with serious reading problems. Remedial and Special Education, 20(5), 309-318. 2. Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L.S., Mathes, P.G., & Simmons, D.C. (1997). Peer- assisted learning strategies: Making classrooms more responsive to diversity. American Educational Research Journal, 34, 174-206. 3. Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L.S., Thompson, A., Svenson, E. et. al. (2001). Peer- assisted learning strategies in reading: Extensions for kindergarten, first grade, and high school.