Reciprocal Teaching

Years/Age range


Type of children

Low attainment

Child/Adult ratio


Length of intervention

16-52 weeks in various studies

Brief description

The devisers describe this as ‘A procedure … where teacher and student took turns leading a dialogue concerning sections of a text. Initially the teacher modelled the key activities of summarising (self-review), questioning (making up a question on the main idea), clarifying and predicting. The teacher thereby modeled activities: the students were encouraged to participate at whatever level they could. The teacher could then provide guidance and feedback at the appropriate level for each student.’ The four activities are seen as having two functions, comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring. Pupils are gradually encouraged to take over the teacher role as they gain confidence, and the whole approach is predicated on the idea that poorer comprehenders can improve by being shown and explicitly understanding and adopting good comprehenders’ strategies.


For reading accuracy in Y3-6: useful
For comprehension in Y3-6: substantial

Further information