Reciprocal Reading in Practice

Reciprocal Reading

Reciprocal Reading – Fischer Family Trust Overview

“Reciprocal Reading is an effective and proven approach to developing reading and comprehension. As an intervention programme it is particularly effective with children who can decode but do not fully understand what they read. However the reciprocal reading approach and strategies are also very helpful for shared reading and, particularly, guided reading.”

The Education Endowment Foundation evaluated the Fischer Family Trust’s reciprocal reading programme. It found that:

  • Children in the Fischer Family Trust targeted reciprocal reading intervention group made the equivalent of two additional months’ progress in their overall reading and reading comprehension on average, compared to the equivalent children in the other schools.
  • Children in the targeted reciprocal reading intervention group made more progress in reading accuracy and pupil comprehension metacognition, while the children taught as a whole class showed effects for only pupil comprehension metacognition.
  • Reciprocal reading carried out at whole-class level had no impact on pupils’ overall reading or reading comprehension outcomes, on average.
  • Reciprocal reading had a positive impact on reading comprehension for children receiving free school meals (FSM) and in the targeted intervention group, but not for children receiving free school meals who were taught as a whole class. Subsequent analysis was able to match data for FSM eligible pupils within the trial using the National Pupil Database. These results found signs of promise for both the targeted and universal interventions on outcomes for children eligible for FSM.

For further information, including how this research applies to Northern Ireland, please watch Video: Reciprocal Reading in Practice: An Evaluation. It is an interview with Dr Liam O’Hare (Queen’s University Belfast) who was part of the team that wrote the Education Endowment Foundation Evaluation Report. Dr Liam O’Hare recommends that reciprocal reading should be targeted at those with literacy difficulties, particularly if they have low comprehension but are good at decoding and in small groups usually aged 9 to 10.

You can read the full Education Endowment Foundation Evaluation Report, Summary and Conclusions here.

Please note, the findings of this research are applicable only to the Fischer Family Trust reciprocal reading method.

Areas of Learning

Language and Literacy