Teacher–researcher partnership in the translation and implementing of PALS (Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies): An international perspective

Emma J. Vardy, Stephanie Al Otaiba, Helen L. Breadmore, Shu Hsuan Kung, Anna Lind Pétursdóttir, Mai W. Zaru, Kristen L. McMaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) is a class-wide structured supplementary paired reading programme to support learners with their reading (Fuchs et al., 1997). What remains at the core of implementing PALS in any given location is the co-creation with teachers to ensure PALS fits with that educational context. This paper discusses the involvement of teachers as co-creators in the process of adapting PALS in England, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Taiwan and Iceland. The aim is to demonstrate the importance of careful adaptation when implementing a programme adopted from another country. Each adaption used a different methodological approach to co-creation. For example, in England, field notes, informal conversations and interviews were utilised for co-creation. In Iceland, preschool and elementary teachers were instrumental in translating and adapting the PALS materials to the Icelandic context. From each adaption, the teachers supported the development of a literacy programme that was suitable for classroom use. In England, teachers' involvement resulted in the removal of the motivational point system. For the UAE context, PALS began in English to support second language learning, but the instructional routines were a good ‘fit’ for the school culture and were developed in Arabic. For the Taiwan context, PALS provided an empirical basis for a model of differentiated instruction to enhance the reading literacy of Chinese-speaking elementary students. In Iceland, teachers trained other teachers in PALS as a research-based and efficient approach to meeting diverse learning needs of students, especially those with Icelandic as an additional language. Careful adaptation, piloting and the involvement of key stakeholders is important for the successful implementation of a reading programme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-526
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the schools, teachers and students who have alongside us developed PALS for each international context outlined.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Research in Reading published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of United Kingdom Literacy Association.


  • Intervention design
  • Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies
  • Reading Comprehension
  • co-creation


Dive into the research topics of 'Teacher–researcher partnership in the translation and implementing of PALS (Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies): An international perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this