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!)