What characteristics might Mrs. Nash look for in a reading approach?

Page 2: The Benefits of PALS

pals26_02_collageLike most teachers, Mrs. Nash has a class of students with diverse learning needs. Because of this, she was excited to discover that PALS is effective for students with learning disabilities, low-performing students without learning disabilities, average-achieving readers, and English learners (ELs). In addition to improving the reading performance of students, PALS:

  • Allows all students—those with and without learning difficulties—to be actively involved in peer-mediated sessions
  • Makes it possible for students with disabilities to spend more time in the least-restrictive environment, thus increasing their access to the general education curriculum
  • Can be used as a research-validated reading approach in schools implementing response to intervention 

Research Shows


  • Students with learning disabilities, low-achieving students, and average-achieving students in grades 2–6 who participated in PALS scored higher on a measure of reading skills than did members of the control group.
    (Fuchs, Fuchs, Mathes, & Simmons, 1997)
  • One study of English Learners in grades 3–6 indicated that students in the PALS condition performed better on several measures of reading ability than did students in the control group.
    (Saenz, Fuchs, & Fuchs, 2005)

Devin Kearns, MA
PALS trainer
Vanderbilt University

Listen as Devin Kearns discusses the benefits of PALS for grades 2–6 (time: 1:02).

View Transcript

Besides accommodating the needs of students of various academic abilities and actively including all students in reading activities, PALS boasts a number of additional benefits for teachers and students. Specifically, the approach:

  • Is easily implemented
  • Is cost-effective
  • Accelerates student achievement in reading
  • Encourages on-task behavior and student participation
  • Allows students more opportunities to read
  • Allows opportunities for students to receive corrective feedback
  • Is enjoyable for students
  • Motivates students
  • Promotes collaboration and positive social interactions among students

Devin Kearns explains why PALS is beneficial for English learners (ELs) (time: 1:13).

Devin Kearns, MA
PALS trainer
Vanderbilt University

View Transcript

Patti Kremer discusses her experience using PALS with ELs (time: 0:35).

Patti Kremer
Fourth-grade teacher
Hiawatha Community School
Minneapolis, MN

View Transcript

For Your Information

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Because PALS is easy for teachers to use and improves students’ reading skills, the U.S. Department of Education Program Effectiveness Panel has deemed it a “best practice.”

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