Paired reading and related methods for improving fluency

Main Article Content

Keith J. Topping


The initial vignette outlines some of the complexities of the use of Paired Reading (PR) in a real
situation. A description of PR is followed by a brief summary of evaluation evidence. A number of
related techniques are briefly described and the evidence for them considered. The utility of PR in
relation to fluency is then discussed. The advantages of PR are then listed. Further questions such as
“How does PR work?” and “How are gains to be sustained?” are then raised. A conclusion specifically
about the effect of PR on fluency is offered.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
TOPPING, Keith J.. Paired reading and related methods for improving fluency. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 1, p. 57-70, aug. 2017. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 aug. 2020.


Brooks, G. (2013). What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties? The effectiveness of
intervention schemes. (Fourth Edition). Bracknell, Berkshire: The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust. Retrieved from [September 26th, 2014].
Carbo, M. (1978). Teaching reading with talking books. The Reading Teacher, 32, 267–273.
Carver, R.P., & Hoffman, J.V. (1981). The effect of practice through repeated reading on gain in reading
ability using a computer-based instructional system. Reading Research Quarterly, 16, 374–390.
Cupolillo, M., Silva, R. S., Socorro, S., & Topping, K. J. (1997). Paired reading with Brazilian first-year
school failures. Educational Psychology in Practice, 13 (2), 96-100. In Portuguese as: Cupolillo, M.,
Silva, R. S., Socorro, S., & Topping, K. J. (1997). Leitura conjunta com repetentes da primeira serie de
escola publica brasileira. Revista Psicopedagogia, 16(4), 24-28.
Dahl, P.R., & Samuels, S.J. (1979). An experimental program for teaching high speed word recognition
and comprehension skills. In J.E. Button, T. Lovitt, & T. Rowland (Eds.), Communications research in
learning disabilities and mental retardation (pp. 33–65). Baltimore: University Park Press.
Dowhower, S.L. (1994). Repeated reading revisited: Research into practice. Reading & Writing Quarterly,
10, 343–358.
Dowhower, S.L. (1987). Effects of repeated reading on second-grade transitional readers’ fluency and
comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 22, 389–406.
Hapstak, J., & Tracey, D. H. (2007). Effects of assisted-repeated reading on students of varying reading
ability: A single-subject experimental research study. Reading Horizons, 47 (4), 315-334.
Heckelman, R.G. (1986). N.I.M. revisited. Academic Therapy, 21, 411–420.
Hollingsworth, P.M. (1978). An experimental approach to the impress method of teaching reading. The
Reading Teacher, 31, 624–626.
Homan, S., Klesius, P., & Hite, S. (1993). Effects of repeated readings and non-repetitive strategies on
students’ fluency and comprehension. Journal of Educational Research, 87, 94–99.
Hoskisson, K. (1975). The many facets of assisted reading. Elementary English, 52, 312–315.
Kuhn, M.R., & Stahl, S.A. (2003). Fluency: A review of developmental and remedial practices. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 95(1), 3–21.
LaBerge, D., & Samuels, S.J. (1974). Toward a theory of automatic information processing in reading.
Cognitive Psychology, 6, 293–323.
Lane, C.H., & Chinn, S.J. (1986). Learning by self-voice echo. Academic Therapy, 21, 477–482.
McKinstery, J. & Topping, K. J. (2003). Cross-age peer tutoring of thinking skills in the high school.
Educational Psychology in Practice, 19, 199-217.
Mathes, P.G., & Fuchs, L.S. (1993). Peer-mediated reading instruction in special education resource
rooms. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 8, 233–243.
Meyer, V. (1982). Prime-O-Tec: A successful strategy for adult disabled readers. Journal of Reading, 25,
Miller, D., Topping, K. J., & Thurston, A. (2010). Peer tutoring in reading: The effects of role and
organization on two dimensions of self-esteem. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(3), 417-
Murad, C.R., & Topping, K.J. (2000). Parents as reading tutors for first graders in Brazil. School
Psychology International, 21(2), 152–171.
Rashotte, C.A., & Torgesen, J.K. (1985). Repeated reading and reading fluency in learning-disabled
children. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 180–188.
Rasinski, T.V. (1990). Effects of repeated reading and Listening-While-Reading on reading fluency.
Journal of Educational Research, 83, 147–150.
Samuels, S.J. (1979). The method of repeated readings. The Reading Teacher, 32, 403–408.
Schneeberg, H. (1977). Listening while reading: A four year study. The Reading Teacher, 29, 629–635.
Scoble, J., Topping, K. J., & Wigglesworth, C. (1988). Training family and friends as adult literacy tutors.
Journal of Reading, 31, 410-17. (also in: Radencich, M. C. (Ed.) (1994). Adult literacy, Newark DE:
International Reading Association).
Shany, M., & Biemiller, A. (2010). Individual differences in reading comprehension gains from assisted
reading practice: Pre existing conditions, vocabulary acquisition, and amounts of practice. Reading
and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 23(90), 1071-1083.
Topping, K. J. (1987). Peer tutored paired reading: Outcome data from ten projects. Educational
Psychology, 7, 133-45. (also in: S. Goodlad & B. Hirst (Eds.) (1990), Explorations in peer tutoring.
Oxford: Blackwell).
Topping, K. J. (1992a). Short- and long-term follow-up of parental involvement in reading projects.
British Educational Research Journal, 18, 369-379.
Topping, K. J. (1992b). The effectiveness of paired reading in ethnic minority homes. Multicultural
Teaching, 10(2), 19-23.
Topping, K. J. (1995). Paired reading, spelling & writing: The handbook for teachers and parents. London &
New York: Cassell.
Topping, K. J. (2001). Thinking reading writing: A practical guide to paired learning with peers, parents &
volunteers. New York & London: Continuum International.
Topping, K.J. & Bryce, A. (2004). Cross-age peer tutoring of reading and thinking: Influence on thinking
skills. Educational Psychology, 24, 595-621.
Topping, K. J. & Lindsay, G.A. (1992a). The structure and development of the paired reading technique.
The Journal of Research in Reading, 15, 120-136.
Topping, K. J. & Lindsay, G.A. (1992b). Paired reading: A review of the literature. Research Papers in
Education, 7, 199-246.
Topping, K. J. & Lindsay, G.A. (1992c). Parental involvement in reading: The influence of socioeconomic
status and supportive home visiting. Children and Society, 5, 306-316.
Topping, K. J., Miller, D., Thurston, A., McGavock, K., & Conlin, N. (2011). Peer tutoring in reading in
Scotland: Thinking big. Literacy, 45(1), 3-9.
Topping, K. J. & Whiteley. M. (1990). Participant evaluation of parent-tutored and peer-tutored projects
in reading. Educational Research, 32(1), 14-32.
Topping, K. J. & Whiteley, M. (1993). Sex differences in the effectiveness of peer tutoring. School
Psychology International, 14(1), 57-67.
Young, A.R., Bowers, P.G., & MacKinnon, G.E. (1996). Effects of prosodic modeling and repeated
reading on poor readers’ fluency and comprehension. Applied Psycholinguistics, 17, 59–84.