WWC review of this study

Efficacy of Peer-Mediated Incremental Rehearsal for English Language Learners

Klingbeil, David A.; Moeyaert, Mariola; Archer, Christopher T.; Chimboza, Tatenda M.; Zwolski, Scott A., Jr. (2017). School Psychology Review, v46 n1 p122-140 Mar 2017. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1141162

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: September 2022

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
Meets WWC standards without reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please download findings data here.

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • 100% English language learners

  • Female: 40%
    Male: 60%

  • Urban
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  • Race
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  • Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
    Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)    
    No FRPL    


This study took place in one public charter school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Study sample

Participants include five students in grades 2 and 3 from one public school. The students were nominated by their teachers to receive additional reading support, based on their reading skills. Three of the students were male. All five students were Hispanic and English Language Learners but none received limited English proficiency services. Information on student's race was not provided. In the study school, 98% of students were eligible for free or reduced price lunch, but eligibility is not reported for the 5 target students.

Intervention Group

During the intervention sessions of the multiple baseline design, students received peer-mediated incremental rehearsal, focused on helping them learn words that were unknown to them prior to the study. Before the study, the authors determined which words were unknown for each student using the Fry list of high-frequency words. Participants were shown each word and if they read the word incorrectly or took longer than 3 seconds, the word was considered "unknown" (other words were considered "known"). The researcher then randomly selected three unknown words and seven known words for each student. The intervention sessions were implemented by four peer tutors, with oversight from a graduate research assistant. The peer tutors were 8 years old and in grade 3, were Spanish and English speakers, and were nominated by teachers as students with "well-developed" English fluency. During each intervention session, one of the peer tutors introduced the unknown words to the student. They asked the participant to read the first unknown word aloud and provided corrective feedback if the participant read the word incorrectly. The tutor then presented this unknown word and a sequence of known words until all seven known words were presented. The tutor followed the same procedures to introduce the second and third unknown words. The peer-mediated incremental rehearsal intervention sessions each lasted about 10 minutes, with the number of intervention sessions ranging from 8 to 25 depending on the student. The average number of sessions per student was 19.

Comparison Group

There is no comparison group in single case designs. During the baseline sessions of the multiple baseline design, the students received their typical classroom instruction alongside other students. Graduate student researchers were present for data collection purposes.

Support for implementation

The assistant provided training to each peer tutor during 3 or 4 20-minute sessions. The training included modeling the intervention for the peer, teaching the peer to introduce unknown words to the student and how to provide corrective feedback, and practicing the components of the intervention. In addition, peers were provided with a script to use for each session. Once a tutor administered the intervention to a graduate assistant with no errors, they were considered to be sufficiently trained.


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