Reciprocal Reading in Practice

Reciprocal Reading

Selecting Children

Reciprocal reading can be used throughout the school. The Fischer Family Trust states that it’s best for children who:

  • can read but struggle to understand;
  • can’t explain their understanding to others;
  • read very slowly because they are focusing on accurate decoding so never get the flow of the text nor grasp its meaning;
  • read too fast and don’t pay attention to what they are reading;
  • only read for plot events not the details within the writing;
  • lack confidence when reading new or unfamiliar texts;
  • have a limited reading repertoire – who read only very undemanding texts or only texts by the same author for example;
  • have impaired understanding through limited understanding of vocabulary;
  • read text avidly but never question the meaning of words or what they have just read; and
  • find it difficult to cope with specialist texts from different curriculum areas.

If you want to use reciprocal reading as an intervention strategy, select children who have acquired decoding skills, but have poor understanding of text. Children who speak English as a second language also benefit, especially if they have a limited vocabulary and understanding of figurative language.