Topping’s Paired Reading

This strategy was discussed during the Coffee Klatch broadcast of Helping Struggling Readers Improve Their Reading.  Topping’s Paired Reading is a simple and powerful technique to build fluency and word recognition, allowing the child to excel in front of the parent.  It was developed by Keith Topping, Professor of Educational and Social Research at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

  1. The child or parent picks a book that the parent (or any adult) and child read aloud in unison together for about 10 minutes or for 3-4 pages.  The reading passage is something that the child has practiced and is comfortable reading aloud.
  2. If the child misreads a word, stop, the adult points to the word and says it, then the child repeats the word, then they resume reading aloud in unison from the beginning of the sentence of the misread word.
  3. After reading, discuss what was read with the child in terms of meaning, implications, what the child might like to learn more about, why the child liked the reading selection, what other books the child might want to read, etc.
  4. Pick 2-3 words that the child had difficulty reading, put the words on index cards, and have the child point to the index card that has the word on it that you say.

The Topping Paired Reading was discussed from the 32-37 minutes mark for reference.