Paired Reading

Paired or Shared Reading is a well known and successful way of encouraging children to read.

You can use it for very young children who are ready to read; you can use it too for older children who can already read a bit but lack confidence and need to improve their fluency and comprehension. What is great about PR is that it allows children to get to grips with books that they find interesting but which may still be too hard for them to decode!

So how does it work? Well, Paired Reading involves both you and your child reading aloud at the same time from the same text. It can seem a bit artificial at first, but once you get the knack, it's a great way of improving reading! Why not try it for 10 minutes each day?

There are 2 stages to Paired Reading:

Stage One - Reading Together

Let your child choose a book of interest to them

Read aloud together, with you pointing out the words (the child will read a millisecond behind you if the book is harder)

If the child makes a mistake, just say the correct word and move on

Do this stage about 4/5 times for 10 minutes each time

Stage Two - Independent Reading

Use the same book

Agree on a signal (e.g. a tap on the table top)

Being reading together as in Stage One

When your child feels confident enough to read alone, he gives the signal and you stop

If he makes a mistake, you join in again, giving the correct word and continue reading with him until he gives the signal once more


Don't make a fuss about mistakes - the aim is to build confidence and fluency

Don't choose a book that is TOO difficult ("War and Peace" might have to wait!)