Parallel Reading is a strategy used during reading to model and reinforce the development of fluency and promotes decoding confidence, particularly with struggling readers. Parallel Reading is a form of Paired Choral Reading performed by two readers, one more proficient than the other. Pairs may include: teacher and student, parent and student, volunteer and student, or an older student with a younger student. Pairs are referred to as mentor and student in the process description.
- Choose a passage/text that works well for the purpose (i.e., relevant to the content and at an appropriate reading level).
- Provide a copy of the text so mentor and student can follow along.
- The mentor and student sit positioned side by side and review the process for reading (see steps 4-6).
- The mentor and student read aloud slowly and clearly in unison. Below are come considerations:
- The student at some point may choose to read independently. If so, the student signals the mentor (an appropriate signal is determined prior to reading). At this time the student proceeds independently while the mentor follows along.
- When the student desires the mentor to join back in, the student signals the mentor.
- If the student hesitates at a word, the mentor waits 4-5 seconds, correctly pronounces the word, and asks the student to repeat the word correctly. At this point, the mentor and student begin reading again in unison.
- If the student skips or misreads a word, the mentor models reading the word in context correctly. The student then rereads the passage with corrections. If necessary, the mentor may read the passage first in unison
with the student, and then allow the student to read alone.
- The mentor and student continue to read, alternating between choral and independent reading as determined by the student’s needs.
- After reading, the mentor and student reflect together on the student’s reading and the text. The mentor provides feedback regarding the student’s reading.
- What did you notice about yourself as a reader when we read together?
- What did you notice about yourself as a reader when you read alone?
- What do you like best about parallel reading?
- How does reading the text together help you?
- Provide time for mentor and student to familiarize themselves with one another.
- Make sure mentors are mindful of and sensitive to students with special needs, multilingual learners, students who struggle with reading, and/or students who are shy or lack confidence.
- Model the procedure with a partner (another adult or student) before implementing the strategy to ensure students understand what Parallel Reading looks and sounds like.
- Leverage the use of technology to provide students with models of hearing a fluent reader. Record yourself (or another fluent reader) reading the text so students can re-listen and practice on their own. Or, have students record themselves reading and listen to it.
- Provide guidance and prompts to help students give feedback to their partner:
- Compliment strengths (e.g., “That flowed well,” “That sounded just like you talk,” etc.)
- Point out areas for growth (e.g., “Could you go back and reread that word/sentence/section?”, “Can you make your voice match the feeling?”)