A fun reading strategy to improve fluency

What is paired reading and how can I use it?

Paired reading is a strategy used with learners to get them to improve their reading skills and improve their fluency. The basic concept is to get learners to read aloud to each other. They work as a pair to complete the reading. You can use this strategy with any of our lessons on http://dreamreader.net/. To prepare, choose a lesson suitable for your class. Download the lesson and print enough copies for the class. Hand out the copies and explain what they are going to do. You can have the class take turns reading sentence by sentence, or paragraph by paragraph for the longer academic readings. They can then work as a pair to answer the comprehension questions.

Why should I use this strategy?

As mentioned above, this strategy is good for improving reading fluency. It’s good for the teacher too because they get to listen to the class read. They can gauge the less fluent learners and help them. In addition, reading with a partner encourages the learners to try harder. They can also get instant help or feedback from a peer with words they can’t pronounce or don’t know the meaning of. Finally, it’s fun! From my experience, learners really enjoy this strategy. Reading can be a lonely process for less fluent readers, but using this strategy makes it enjoyable.


I like to get the students to read sentence by sentence because it creates more interaction than paragraph by paragraph. I also vary the activity to make it more game like.

Miss out a word

In this version, the learners read sentence by sentence, but each time they read they miss out a word from that sentence. The listener then has to identify which word they didn’t say. This makes it a reading and listening exercise as the listener has to carefully listen for each omitted word. My learners really enjoy this version. They try to read as quickly and fluently as possible so to try and catch out their partner!

Remember the sentence

This version is best done with the lessons in our http://dreamreader.net/Lesson/fun-for-all/ section because generally the sentences are simple sentences and are not too long. In this version, the reader reads a sentence and the listener listens carefully. They then put down their prints and work together to remember the sentence. If they can’t, they pick up their papers and read again. This is challenging but it really gets them concentrating.

What do you think? Have you tried anything similar in your classes? Do you have any other variations? As always, I’d love to hear from you.