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Reciprocal Teaching
Students with a Specific Learning Disability

No studies of the reciprocal teaching instructional method that fall within the scope of the Students with Learning Disabilities review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards. Because no studies meet WWC evidence standards, at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of reciprocal teaching on students with learning disabilities. Additional research is needed to determine the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this intervention.

Reciprocal teaching is an interactive instructional practice that aims to improve students’ reading comprehension by teaching strategies to obtain meaning from a text. The teacher and students take turns leading a dialogue regarding segments of the text. Students discuss with their teacher how to apply four comprehension strategies—generating questions, summarizing, clarifying, and predicting—to passages of text. During the early stages of reciprocal teaching, the teacher assumes primary responsibility for modeling how to use these strategies. As students become more familiar with the strategies, there is a gradual shift toward student responsibility for talking through the application of the strategies to the text.

Last Updated: November 2013

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