Reading buddies: What are students actually doing during this time?

Chantelle Persaud, Fordham University


Reading buddies, a practice that has been implemented for many years, has been used as a method to improve students’ reading development. Few studies have sought to systematically document how, when, and in what ways reading buddies could benefit students. The purpose of this study was to explore if fourth-grade students used reading comprehension strategies during reading buddies and if students’ reading achievement levels impacted the literacy practices students chose to use during the designated time. This study also sought to explore the perceptions of fourth-grade students on the purpose of reading buddies and to observe if those perceptions were actualized. This qualitative, multiple case study approach, used group interviews, writing prompts, questionnaires, and observations of 10 dyads during reading buddies. An observation chart was used to document the practices used and choices made by fourth-grade students during this time. Results from this study revealed that fourth-grade students spent most of their time orally reading and did not use reading comprehension strategies frequently. Students perceived reading buddies as a time for social interactions and developing friendships. Struggling readers tended to spend less time on reading and comprehension strategies when compared to high-proficient readers. Teachers need to explicitly model and tell students what the expectations are during reading buddies in order to develop students’ use of reading comprehension strategies. Other implementation recommendations are discussed as well.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Persaud, Chantelle, "Reading buddies: What are students actually doing during this time?" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10255744.