Taylor and Francis Group is part of the Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Chapter image Chapter 12: Strategy 10: Reciprocal teaching

Self Evaluation

Please rate yourself or a teacher you have closely observed.




10. Employs reciprocal teaching

You provide guided practice to assist learners improve their reading comprehension in all subject areas by predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarizing what is in a text.

You are very active initially and then gradually reduce support as learners become more skilled, a process sometimes referred to as ‘scaffolding’.


Mitchell, 2014, pp134–141

You typically follows this sequence:

  1. ask learners to read a passage from a text silently,
  2. ask questions about the content of the passage,
  3. ask learners to work out the gist of the passage and to summarise it,
  4. clarify any misunderstandings,
  5. ask for predictions regarding what might occur next.
  1. All indicators are regularly met and the teacher gradually withdraws support.
  2. All indicators are regularly met, but the teacher does not gradually withdraw support.
  3. Some of the indicators are met.
  4. None of the indicators are met.

YouTubeYouTube links

Summarization 6 Reciprocal teaching Pt 1. (7.22 US)

In this segment, the teacher begins by modelling for students a process for engaging with text, which creates a framework to move them toward active, independent and deep comprehension of the material. We then watch students, in their guided reading group, as they work through the four stages of reciprocal teaching: predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarizing. In this collaborative environment, students lead each other to develop greater understanding of the text through discussion and reflection.


ACE322 Reciprocal teaching. (13.33 Singapore)

Singapore students make a presentation covering the principles of Reciprocal Teaching.


Vygotsky 1.  Basic theory. (6.10 US)

Dr Andrew Johnson examines Vygotsky’s theories of learning and human development.


Vygotsky 2. Scaffolding and the zone of proximal development. 5.00 US

Dr Andrew Johnson continues his examination of Vygotsky’s theories of learning and human development.


websitesWeb links

Epstein, J., Sanders, M., and Sheldon, S. (2007). Family and community involvement: Achievement effects.


journalsJournal links

Alfassi, M., Weiss, I. and Lifshitz, H. (2009). ‘The efficacy of reciprocal teaching in fostering the reading literacy of students with intellectual disabilities’. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 24(3), 291–305.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of strategy instruction on the reading literacy of students with mild and moderate intellectual disability. The main objective of strategy instruction was to foster comprehension monitoring. Through shared dialogues, students were trained to generate questions about text, to summarize what was read, to clarify difficult words and to make predictions. The strategies were taught using the reciprocal teaching method developed by Palincsar and Brown. Findings on all measures provide support for the claim that strategy instruction is indeed superior to traditional remedial methods of skill acquisition in fostering reading literacy comprehension.

Palincsar, A.S. and Brown, A. (1984). ‘Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities’. Cognition and Instruction, 1(2), 117–175.

Two instructional studies directed at the comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities of seventh-grade poor comprehenders are reported. The four study activities were summarizing (self-review), questioning, clarifying and predicting. The training method was that of reciprocal teaching, where the tutor and students took turns leading a dialogue centered on pertinent features of the text. Reciprocal teaching, with an adult model guiding the student to interact with the text in more sophisticated ways, led to a significant improvement in the quality of the summaries and questions. It also led to sizable gains on criterion tests of comprehension, reliable maintenance over time, generalization to classroom comprehension tests, transfer to novel tasks that tapped the trained skills of summarizing, questioning and clarifying, and improvement in standardized comprehension scores.