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PA - Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)

For reading skills development in 3rd-6th.

About the Course

Includes FREE 250 page manual by post.

PALS – be the first to bring the world-renowned PALS programme to your school in 2022! Introduce this new strategy to the reading development equation which has been proven to raise reading achievement. Bring PALS back to your classroom in September!

Teachers will systematically engage with the detail of the PALS Programme. Peer-assisted learning strategies for the development and progression of reading skills is a programme that was developed by Dr. Douglas Fuchs, Dr. Lynn Fuchs, Dr. Deborah Simmons and Dr. Patricia Mathes and was approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education as an approved and effective educational practice. The course will cover the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to set up and effectively implement the programme at class and whole school level.

In particular covering core activities such as:

  • Partner reading
  • Retelling
  • Paragraph shrinking
  • Prediction relay
  • Scheduling / pairings / selecting reading material / leveling material / monitoring performance etc.

Teachers will appraise, evaluate and assess their current approach to reading skills development, consider the requirements of the new literacy strategy and decide on the place of PALS within the mix for raising literacy outcomes. All participants are subsequently provided with a hard copy of the 280 page manual to aid implementation. Additionally, teachers will discretely & systematically engage with the School Self-Evaluation processes & instruments with a view to later formulating and implementing a self-improvement plan.


The online format of this course enables you to study at a time and place that best suits your own needs. 

You can access your course anytime until February 28th 2023.

Within this highly interactive web-based course, a dynamic learning experience awaits, where you can interact with your fellow course participants through the in-course chat forums and communication tools provided by the CPD College learning system. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors actively support each course, providing expert interaction, guidance and feedback for all participants on chat questions and assignments which call for critical reflection, self-analysis and a reasoned response. 

On successful completion of your course, you can download and print off your CPD record and certificate of completion.

We look forward to welcoming you to your course.

Learning outcomes

This course aims to:

  • Introduce and skill teachers in the PALS approach and techniques, providing a learning strategy that can be used weekly by the children in the senior classes.
  • Detail the current approaches to reading development in Irish education and schedule PALS into that mix as a proven strategy to improve and drive better outcomes in literacy.
  • Distinguish and state the unique features of the PALS programme for third to sixth class.
  • Equip participants with the knowledge and skill set to prepare for and manage the setting up and roll out of a school wide Peer Assisted Learning Strategies approach (PALS) to reading development.
  • Appraise PALS as a strategy and its potential contribution & dividend as part of the reading approaches mix.
  • Provide teachers with a broad range of other comprehension strategies and digital resources to practice skills.
  • Highlight the opportunity to implement, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of PALS in their own classroom in the coming school year, as a reflection in action approach.
01 - Teachers will review and reflect on the current mix of approaches to reading development in the senior classes and be introduced to PALS – peer assisted learning strategies as part of this mix.
02 - Teachers explore the detail of the first suite of lessons of the PALS programme, covering development of the first two essential skills.
03 - Teachers engage with the suite of lessons that cover the skills involved in ‘paragraph shrinking’.
04 - Teachers engage with the suite of lessons designed to teach and practice prediction skills through a technique called ‘prediction relay’.
05 - Teachers will explore and consider PALS as part of a strong, in place, systematic approach to reading development, where ‘learning to read’ is a precursor to/cornerstone of ‘reading to learn’. Teachers will engage with the processes and tools of school self evaluation with a view to putting in place a self improvement plan.

"This course was brilliant. It was laid out in a user friendly manner. It covered the programme logically. It included all the resources together with providing all the relevant articles to back up the content. It provided frameworks, videos, library and downloads which were specifically chosen with a degree of attention that complements the course content. It is a course that was recommended to me by a colleague and I will recommend it to others. Getting the PALS manual in the post enabled me to get maximum benefit from the course. Thank you and well done!."  Patricia, 2021