The BIG education issue: Reciprocal reading
21 December 2009Add to My Folder
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Helen Freeman looks at the benefits of reciprocal reading with literacy specialist, Sarah Snashall.
Two of the Connectors books — the KS2 non-fiction reading scheme that uses reciprocal reading techniques to encourage children to develop comprehension skills
What is reciprocal reading?
Reciprocal reading is a method of teaching comprehension which explicitly teaches strategies for predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising. It was originally described by Palinscar and Brown in the 1980s in the US, but has been adopted worldwide.
Reciprocal teaching has been shown to increase both reading and listening comprehension, and has demonstrated that learners transfer their learning into other contexts.
How does it differ from other comprehension/speaking and listening strategies?
Many comprehension exercises are taught and practised through writing answers to pre-prepared questions. The reciprocal teaching method encourages children to ask questions of the text themselves and to answer and build on the questions of their peers. Asking questions and peer discussion can be a powerful learning experience and requires a higher level of understanding and engagement with the text.