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Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) — Reading — Elementary, Struggling Readers

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Peer-Assisted Literary Strategies or PALS, is a technique in which children work in pairs, taking turns as teacher and learner, to learn a structured sequence of literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, phonics, sound blending, passage reading, and story retelling. Children use a simple error-correction strategy with each other under guidance from the teacher.

Program Outcomes

One qualifying study reported separate outcomes for PALS in first grade. It found significant positive effects on Woodcock scales, which qualified PALS for the ESSA “Moderate” category.

Staffing Requirements

No additional classroom staff needed, but on-site coaches needed.

Professional Development/Training

Initial training plus in-school coaching


None needed