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Cross-age peer tutoring in French immersion : students helping students by supporting literacy and early… Pollock, Cynthia L. 2010-12

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CROSS-AGE PEER TUTORING IN FRENCH IMMERSION: STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS BY SUPPORTING LITERACY AND EARLY SCHOOL SUCCESSS byCYNTHIA L. POLLOCKB. Ed. The University of British Columbia, B.C., 1993 B.A. The University of British Columbia, B.C., 1991 A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF EDUCATION inTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Language and Literacy EducationWe accept this major paper as conforming(Second Reader)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIADecember 2010 @CYNTHIA L. POLLOCK, 2010AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how Cross-Age Peer Tutoring can be an effective supplemental educational program to reinforce literacy skills with primary French Immersion students struggling in reading. It is a structured and monitored tutoring program thattakes place during regular school hours.Three years ago, our French Learning Assistance teacher established a Cross-Age Peer Tutoring program. She paired my grade 7 students paired with a student in a primary grade who were in need of extra support in French reading and writing. The focus was on reinforcement of the primary students’ French literacy skills. Since then, we have improved our tutoring program, and in this paper I will explain how we used Cross-Age Peer Tutoring in our French Immersion program as an educational tool to support some of our primary students in need of extra practicein literacy.The review of the literature indicates that Peer Tutoring can be a useful supplemental method of instruction to further enhance and support literacy skills in children who need extra reinforcement. Research has shown that peer tutoring programs can increase the use of critical thinking, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills (Gensemer, 2000). Although there are different types of pairings for Peer Tutoring, the concept of Cross-Age Peer tutoring is an effective program to help develop reading and writing skills in both the older and younger students involved. This one-on-one tutoring helps develop the self-esteem of both the tutor (intermediate student) and tutee (the primary student). This paper will demonstrate that an organized and structured program is emotionally and academically beneficial for both the tutor and tutee, and a positive reinforcement of what is taught in the classroom.Cross-Age Peer TutoringCross-Age Peer Tutoring illTable of ContentsAbstract..........................................................................................................................................11Table of Contents.........................................................................................................................111Acknowledgements.......................................................................................................................vINTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................... 1Personal Situating: Why is this important to me?...........................................................1LITERATURE REVIEWLearning as a Social Process...........................................................................................Peer Tutoring as Educational Support............................................................................ 9Historical Background.........................................................................................9Peer and Cross-Age Tutoring.............................................................................10Effects and Limitations....................................................................................... 12Summary....................................................................................................  ^Conclusion........................................................................................................................^CONNECTIONS TO PRACTICE.......................................................................................... 181 8Background of French Immersion.................................................................................. 10onInquiry into my own practice: Why do this?.............................................................. z21My Community of Learners...........................................................................................^21Identifying Tutors and Tutees.......................................................................................OCProgram Development and Implementation..................................................................^2009/2010 Program Implementation............................................................................. 2628Evaluating the Program..................................................................................................CONCLUSION.......................................................................................................................... 32Reflections and Implication for Further Practice: Where to go from here?..............32REFERENCES.......................................................................................................................... 35APPENDICES.......................................................................................................................... 43Appendix A: September Questionnaire to Grade Sevens......................................... 43Appendix B: One page example of French sight words........................................... 44Appendix C: Photos of Tutoring Kits........................................................................45Appendix D: Photos of Tutoring Kits........................................................................46Appendix E: Photos of a Tutor and Tutee Working Together.................................47Appendix F: Mid-Year Questionnaire for Grade Sevens.........................................48Appendix G: June Questionnaire for Teachers................................................  50Appendix H: June Questionnaire for Tutors....................................................   51Appendix I: June Questionnaire for Tutees............................................................... 52Cross-Age Peer Tutoring IVAcknowledgementsLearning is a social and collaborative process and it takes a village........I would like to acknowledge and thank all of my professors in my Masters’ courses and my electives for inspiring and challenging me these last two years. They have all enriched my thinking and teaching. Thank you to Dr. Theresa Rogers for her continual guidance and mentoring in the completion of the requirements to obtain a Master’s degree.I would not have been able to do this study without the continual support and encouragement of Joan Stephens, our exhaustingly dedicated and hard-working Learning Assistance teacher and friend. Thank you for allowing my students to be your tutors, and for developing a rich learning experience and program for all the students involved. You are an inspiration to us, your colleagues, and to your students. Merci mille fois.I am thankful for my two wonderful parents, Louise and Al, who passed onto me their Teaching genes, and who showed me the value of education and that life is about diligence, honesty, patience, selflessness, compassion and caring. I learned from you as my role models. These are all qualities that I have tried to emulate as a teacher, wife, mother, friend and student and continually strive to improve and model on a daily basis.I am grateful to all of my friends who have supported me emotionally and who have listened to me ramble on. I am looking forward to reconnecting with each one of you as you so patiently had to accept being put on the sidelines the last two years.To my talented, hardworking, and dedicated cohort colleagues whose constant compassion, support, and sense of humour made going to our long evening courses, and electives, a lot of fun and worthwhile, I thank you. I admire each of you and you are all a creditCross-Age Peer Tutoringto this teaching profession. The students whose lives you impact on a daily basis are so blessed to have you as their teachers.Most of all, although words and actions are never enough, I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to my husband Doug, my children, Scott and Sami, and my in-laws, Barb and Ross, for their unrelenting patience, forgiveness, and understanding of my many late nights, missed family activities, missed weekends, months away during the summer and my overly repeated phrase, “Sorry, I have course work to do”. To Doug, who had to pull double-duty when I needed to write, and who celebrated each milestone with me, thank you for keeping me going. My family continually demonstrated their unconditional love, support, and selfless sacrifices these last two years in order for me to pursue my dream of getting a Master’s degree. Scott and Sami cheered me on with, “You can do it, Mom. You’re almost there”, and their actions and words inspired me to do my best and to see it through.I dedicate this paper to all of you who have gave up your time and supported me in accomplishing my personal goal. You provided the on-going encouragement I needed to keep going and to see this through. I owe you an enormous amount of gratitude.Cross-Age Peer TutoringSection 1: Introduction Personal Situating: Why is this important to me?In order to understand our students, we need to understand ourselves. I had to reflect uponwhy I wanted to make my Master's inquiry on peer tutoring and its significance to me. In order to do that, I had to look back on myself as a child, a daughter, a student and an adult.I grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s, in a small rural town, south of Richmond. It wasn't too affluent and most residents fell into the middle working class of society. I have always believed that we are a product of our environment and experiences, and that it is our experiences, both good and bad, that eventually help shape and influence who we become as adults.As a child, both at home and at school, I needed to please, to be needed and to feel useful. I still am that “child” today as an adult. In elementary school, I loved helping others and in Grade 7, our Learning Assistance teacher asked me to work with a Grade 5 girl who needed extra reading practice. I really enjoyed doing that because I felt needed, useful and enjoyed seeing her sense of pride and accomplishment when she improved. I used to play “teacher or secretary with my little friends. I used to mark math tests for my father and regularly help my mother at her school. I babysat as soon as I was old enough and was constantly needed in my neighbourhood. While attending college and university, I earned money as a tutor, working with high school students French and Math. During my college years, I worked for an organization where I helped integrate mentally challenged adults into the work force, it became a very fulfilling job. Prior to going into education, I worked as an Educational Assistant for two years. Through all of these experiences, I felt needed and useful. I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that I had made a difference in someone else’s life.I have a history of teachers in my family who have also influenced my life. My grandmother was a wonderful teacher who taught until 1971. Both my parents were alsoCross-Age Peer Tutoring 1teachers. My father was a well-respected Vice-Principal who always preferred being in the classroom working with students to his administrative work. My mother was a dedicated, passionate teacher who taught Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 5 and ESL. My brother has been a hard working high school teacher in California since 1986. When I was five years old, my parents took a leave from teaching and we lived in Australia for a year where both my parents were able to get teaching positions. Upon our return, my parents resumed their teaching careers in the same district. When I graduated from high school, it was understood that I was going to pursue a post-secondary education. While I was unsure of my career path, my parents were confident I would become a teacher.In high school, I loved languages and was very proficient in French. After graduating from high school in 1983,1 attended a six-week summer French Immersion camp in Shippagan, New Brunswick. I began my Bachelor of Arts, with a French major, at Kwanten College. My second year I studied at the University of Moncton, New Brunswick, where I took all my courses in French. It was a wonderful experience and developed my French language proficiency. I completed my Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia. During these years, I continued to tutor high school students in French and Math. The next step was obvious to my parents who suggested that I become a French Immersion teacher. During my teacher training, my fifth year, my father passed away after a long struggle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) and I felt more determined than ever to carry the torch for him and become the best teacher I could be. I graduated with my Bachelor of Education from UBC in 1993.Did I embrace the educational profession to fulfill my “needy” personality or because I was the product of a long line of teachers? The answer is both. I am a product of my environment and of those influences around me. Teaching is a profession that requires passion, caring,Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 2dedication and hard work, which I witnessed through my parents. In return, it gives back the feeling of being needed and useful, as well as a tremendous sense of accomplishment. That is not to say that there aren’t any frustrations, struggles, sad times and feelings of not accomplishing what you were hoping to, for there are many of those moments, too. Did I make the decision to become a teacher solely on my own? No. Did my family background, interests and my personality influence my decision? Yes, of course it did, as I am having an influence on my own children right now. I have never regretted my decision.I have been a teacher for 18 years and have 2 children of my own. Both of my children are in French Immersion. My son is in Grade 6 and my daughter is in Grade 3. My daughter says that she would like to be a mother or teacher. I have informed her that she is able to be both if she wishes. Voila, my career and example has already had an influence on my family, as mine did on me, and the generation of teachers will most likely continue. My children will be a product of their environment and the influences around them as well.In my career, I have taught kindergarten to grade seven and was a Teacher on Call in the high schools. I completed my inquiry in a grade seven of 26 students, 14 boys and 12 girls. Teaching grade seven can be a challenge. These pre-adolescents are all very unique, interesting and at various academic levels and abilities. My classroom is full of emotional and hormonal pre-adolescents. They need my support in many ways, not just academically, and they, unconsciously, make me feel needed and useful. There are so many positive and wonderful moments in teaching that override the negative. The best compliment that a teacher can receive is when a student or students return to visit. I have many students who visit me during their high school years and they still need advice and guidance, affirming for me that I have made a difference in their lives.Cross-Age Peer TutoringMy personal search to be needed and useful is also the catalyst that makes me continually question my own teaching practices and seek new ideas and strategies. I continually ask myself if I am meeting their needs both emotionally and academically, and if I am having a positive influence on them. Am I making them feel useful and needed and helping them develop positive self-esteem? I am concerned with the whole child, his or her social and emotional well-being, view of themselves and where he or she belongs are equally as important as their academic success. A child's own cultural and personal background and experiences are equally as important.In taking into account the whole child and their life experiences, I am constantly inquiring how I can help my students emotionally and academically? How can I reach a child at a tender age and light the spark of learning in his/her eyes? What other strategies or ideas can I find to ;help my students consistently transfer their grammar learned into their everyday writing? How do I get them to speak French to their peers? How do I instill a passion for reading and writing, especially with the boys? What more can I do to help them in Math? Is peer editing or tutoring a valuable teaching tool for both students involved? How can I create an effective tutoring program and develop quality assessment of learning? These are only a few queries and ponderings that drive me to continually want to know what more I can do for my students el­even for my own two children.As my own experience growing up of working with younger students gave me a positive feeling of self-esteem, responsibility and usefulness, I feel it is important that older students work with younger students in different ways. I have always enjoyed and encouraged my students to work hard with their “buddy” classes. Even the struggling grade 7 student with learning difficulties has valuable knowledge and skills to impart to younger students and canCross-Age Peer Tutoringhave a great influence on their learning. As a tutor myself, I learned that the little extra one-on- one time and practice really made a difference in that student’s confidence and academic success. Also with the greater demands of curriculum, I wondered if having older students tutor younger students will help both students’ academic success. From my experience as a Teacher Mentor, I know that mentoring new teachers helps build their confidence and gives them a positive sense of self-worth. I believe peer tutoring amoung students has the same impact.Therefore, my focus these past 2 years has been on our Cross-Age Peer tutoring program. My questions included: To what extent is peer tutoring an effective program to help develop reading and writing skills in both the older and younger students involved? Does one-on-one tutoring help develop the self-esteem of both the tutor and primary student? Can tutoring help support the struggling child? What influences does the older student have on the younger child in their emotional and academic success? To what benefit is a tutoring program on a classroom?I feel that teaching does fulfill my need to help and to be useful. I feel that students teaching students does have an influence socially, emotionally and academically. My hope is that students will feel useful and needed when working with other students and see the positive results of their work.Cross-Age Peer TutoringSection 2: Literature Review Learning as a Social ProcessAlthough I have always felt that peer tutoring is important, I needed to look at theresearch and literature in order to support and confirm my beliefs. My focus was on peer- tutoring as literacy support and in particular, Cross-Age Peer tutoring. Most of my information came from theoretical pieces of writing or case-studies using tutoring to improve literacy skills.All the literature reviewed supports the fact that learning is a social process. The sociocultural theory of literacy development states that our literacy practices are influenced by social, cultural, historical and material context (Gee, 2003). What we interpret is shaped by different relationships, cultural influences, values and society. Literacy is an interactive process, an ‘interaction” between the text and amoung readers in which the meaning is co-constructed. Learning, including language and literacy development, occurs within social and cultural contexts (Bakhtin, 1986; Bourdieu, 1991; Purcell-Gates, 2006; Rogoff, 1990; Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1998). Through social interaction, learners begin to understand and learn the values, beliefs, patterns of behaviour, and abilities practiced by members of their cultural communities (Purcell-Gates & Bustos Rojas, 2009/ Readers who are engaged bring their background experiences and knowledge to the text, while readers who are struggling with decoding and just making sense of the words, may not have the same enjoyment of reading.Peer tutoring is consistent with a socio-cultural view of learning. It builds on the Vygotskian perspective of scaffolding (Vygotsky, 1978) in which more competent learners support weaker ones, and that the weaker learners improve on whatever skill it is they are learning. There are advantages that go both ways for the tutor and the tutee. Vygotsky’s theory of “supported or scaffolded" exploration through social and cognitive interaction with a moreCross-Age Peer Tutoringexperienced peer in relation to a task of a level of difficulty” is the theoretical cornerstone of peer tutoring (Vygotsky, 1978). However, Sternberg’s theory of intelligent performance (1985), includes components that suggest even preparing to be a tutor enhances cognitive processing in the tutor: meta-cognitive skills of planning, monitoring and evaluating, procedural and contextual knowledge, perceiving, differentiating, selecting, storing, inferring, applying, combining, justifying and responding processes are reinforced (Topping, 2004).In French Immersion, second language learning is a very important part of a students identity (Norton, 2006), motivation alone doesn’t account for language learning. There has been a social turn in theories of identity and second language acquisition the last few years. We need to look even further at a child’s investment into learning a second language, which is socially and historically constructed. This research in identity and second language acquisition, has been influenced by theorists Bahktin (1986) and Bourdieu (1977; 1991). Theory and research on identity and language learning is applicable to both the tutor and the tutee when looking at their investment in second language learning, specifically in this case, in French Immersion. For both the tutor and tutee, their motivation, or perceived lack of motivation, is really their investment or desire and commitment into learning a second language. According to Norton (2006), “researchers are interested in the relationships of power within classrooms and that the power may promote or constrain the process of language learning” (p. 502). I can understand this dance of power that may go on between a teacher and a student, and students may develop a form of resistance which they demonstrate either by not using the language or not participating, by acting out, by attracting negative attention or by simply not doing the work.However, this resistance does not mean that they are not successful language learnem. They may just have little investment in the language practices of the classroom (Norton, 2009)Cross-Age Peer Tutoringand may react differently in different learning environments. Peer tutoring can provide a different learning situation that may break down the wall of resistance for both the tutor and tutee, and the result can be an effective, cooperative, rewarding and self-esteem building partnership.Miller and Seller (1985) define Cross-Age Peer tutoring as a transaction model of schooling which emphasizes a dialogue between the tutor and tutee that enables the tutee to apply problem-solving strategies within social contexts to construct meaning (Sullivan, 200Q). This model demonstrates that knowledge is moving in a reciprocal manner between the tutor and tutee. The idea is also that the older tutor will benefit from the instruction given during the tutoring session, which includes a transference of skills. Allen's theory as cited in a review by Nevi (1983), suggests that tutors take on a "teacher-like" role that includes prestige, authority-, and a feeling of competence, which in turn gives the older student a feeling of success. This social interaction is important to both the tutor and tutee (DeRita & Weaver, 1991; Fisette, 1996; Leland & Fitzpatrick, 1994). DeRita and Weaver (1991) state that as children are great motivators for other children, a cross-age literacy program makes becoming literate a friendly, natural process as children work together.Cross-Age Peer TutoringPeer Tutoring as an Educational Support Historical background.Are the terms education and instruction synonymous? According to Funk and Wagnall'sCollege Dictionary (1974), the noun "education" has many definitions such as “the study of teaching methods and problems, the learning process and other matters related to the classroom pedagogy” or “a systematic development or training of the mind, capabilities or character through instruction or study” (p.420). It uses the noun “instruction” as a synonym and states that “education may be gained by one’s own efforts but instruction is imparted by another” (p. 420). As educators, we are continually seeking new ways, methods or strategies to better instruct, teach, guide and impart knowledge to our students in their learning process.Tutoring is an educational and instructional method to “instruct, teach or train” others (Funk & Wagnall's Dictionary, 1976, p. 1446) and has become an accepted and important method of support in education. Tutoring, mentoring or peer-based instruction, is categorized in the educational world today as peer-tutoring, cooperative learning and peer collaboration (Damon, 1984; Damon & Phelps, 1988). These types of tutoring differ in their set up and they also have subcategories. In the articles I have read, the general consensus is that the result of peer tutoring is improved academic achievement, self-esteem and social competence. The results, depending on the specific topic of research, vary in the outcome or achievement. It is important, though, to also look at the process leading up to the academic and social achievement of students in peer tutoring and cooperative learning, not just the end results (Palincsar, Brown &Martin, 1987).Tutoring can be traced back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. Aristotle used peer tutors to help educate others. In Roman times and the Renaissance, tutors were used to monitorCross-Age Peer Tutoringbehaviour and learning of their peers. They were perceived as a “surrogate” teacher, in a linear model of the transmission of knowledge, from teacher to tutor to tutee (Topping & Bryce, 2004, p 322). Even during the Medieval times, priests had tutors who worked with each other learning from the scribes. A tutor may be another teacher, trained professional or another student. It is a system whereby learners help each other and leam by teaching (Mynard & Almazouqi, 2006). According to Topping and Bryce (2004), peer tutoring is not necessarily only about transmission from the more able and experienced (who already have the knowledge and skills) to the less able (who have yet to acquire them); the gains accrued from the tutoring process to the tutor are justas important.Peer tutoring and cross-age peer tutoring.As we are often looking for different approaches to support students who struggle inreading and writing, many of whom do not qualify for Learning Assistance time, one-on-one tutoring is a good method of support. Peer tutoring is a cooperative learning situation in which the tutor and tutee are in a comfortable and friendly, non-threatening situation and the tutor explains or teaches the subject matter at a level that is possibly easier for the tutee to understand. Generally, it is assumed that the tutor has greater knowledge and ability than the tutee (Damon & Phelps, 1989). Peer tutoring is a transmission model of education whereby the tutor imparts skills-based information to the tutee (Miller & Seller, 1985). The tutee does not feel pressure or stress and they are learning in a more relaxed and fun environment.Subcategories of peer tutoring exist. Peer tutors, peer mentors, peer pals or even buddies are learners that help one another through teaching and practice. Tutors may be the same grade level or age and in the same classroom or in different classrooms. This is called Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT) and Classwide Peer Tutoring (CWT) or Peer Assisted Learning (PALS). TheyCross-Age Peer Tutoringmay also be in different grade levels with older students working with younger students one-to- one. This is called Cross-Age Peer Tutoring (CAT). Cross-Age tutoring and peer tutoring involve slightly different ages of the tutor and tutee, and also in the academic subject level. Though peer tutors of the same age could possibly involve a stronger student with a weaker student, that is not always the case. They could be peer tutoring each other (RPT) for a test or explaining a math concept. Cross-Age tutoring is the same idea, but the older student has already acquired the knowledge and is teaching or reinforcing what the younger child is learning, whether it is reading and writing strategies or math.My paper focuses on Cross-Age Peer tutoring (CAT). It is a method where older students are trained to work with younger students in reading, writing, math or other subject areas as “expert” tutors. Webb (1988) comments on the practice of Cross-Age peer tutoring in culturally diverse situations where older children are expected to be responsible for younger ones. Wright and Cleary (2006) studied the effectiveness and impact of CAT on the fluency of delayed readers. They concluded that, although the tutors reading fluency growth rate was less than expected, the tutees went from a mean fluency rate of 52 words per minute to 70 words per minute showing a very positive result in improved reading fluency (Wright & Cleary, 2006, p.103).Cross-Age peer tutoring and other methods are not just limited to reading. According to Medcalf, Glynn and Moore (2004), 10 and 11 year olds who peer tutored 6 year olds in writing for 10 weeks (in 20 minute sessions, 4 times a week, during regular class time) showed improvement in writing rate, accuracy and audience ratings of clarity of message and enjoyment of writing for both tutors and tutees (p. 157 & 171). They also found “the tutees substantially increased their writing output (word and sentences) in comparison to their baseline performance”Cross-Age Peer Tutoring(p. 165). Interestingly, Medcalf et al, (2004) suggest that more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of peer tutoring in the written language area with all grades. This is my focus with my Learning Assistance teacher and our primary French Immersion tutees.Peer tutoring effectiveness and limitations.In the literature I reviewed, most researchers concurred that there is no conclusive difference in favour of any specific type of tutoring program (Gisbert & Font, 2008). The effectiveness of the program, whether it’s RPT, Cross-Age, Classwide, or PALS, depends on the organization, practice, support and monitoring of the tutor and tutee and the different instructional activities being done (Griffin & Griffin, 1998). If the program is highly structured, the peers are trained, the students are actively engaged and the teachers monitor the program closely, then any of these models will be successful and the students will show improvement. Maheady, Mallette and Harper (2006), state that some students do not benefit to the same extent as others. This could be attributed to implementation problems, program design or students characteristics. Whatever the case, Maheady et al., (2006) concluded that, as our student population becomes more diverse culturally and academically, educators will be more challenged to be able to accommodate this diversity with instructional intervention so that all students benefit instructionally.Peer tutoring has a long history of being a successful teaching tool. It proves to be an effective support for student and teachers alike. There are many benefits to peer tutoring. The tutee doesn’t feel as though they’re being criticized or judged. Their self-esteem and confidence increases and they receive immediate reinforcement, clarification, practice and feedback of the skill or subject they don’t understand (Olmscheid, 1999). As tutoring is a cooperative method, it requires both the tutor and tutee to work together and it’s not competitive. The tutors themselvesCross-Age Peer Tutoring 12benefit by learning through teaching, and they become more responsible while doing something worthwhile for others (Mynard & Almarzouqi, 2006). While they are explaining to the tutee, they are developing a better understanding as well because “tutors have to teach and therefore, they have an immediate reason for learning and additionally, the very process of teaching causes learning” (Fitz-Gibbon, 1988). The tutor learns the material better themselves, reinforcing their knowledge. Or in their roles of leader, they develop their self-esteem (Nevi, 1983).There is much research on Reciprocal Peer Tutoring, Cross-Age Tutoring and Classwide Tutoring that reinforce the benefits and effectiveness of tutoring with students who are at risk, gifted, culturally diverse, ADHD or who have behavioural problems. It is important that the tutoring program be even more organized and structured, supervised and that the tutors have more formal training and practice. Gifted students need a program that is meaningful, challenging and open-ended. In culturally diverse situations, peer tutoring can help with language and cultural barriers. In many different cultures where older children are responsible for younger children, Cross-age tutoring can be very effective in these situations (Webb, 1988).Although the students we are working with in my school are not necessarily culturally diverse, they are in a program that requires them to learn a second language. My students (grade7) have been tutoring grade 1,2, and 3 students in developing their reading and writing skills in French. As well as reinforcing literacy skills, the peer tutoring is also reinforcing and extending all the students’ conversational and oral skills in French. Students with behavioural disorders have shown an increase in positive social interactions, improved attitudes and decreased negative social interactions between tutor and tutees (Franca, Kerr, Reitz & Lambert, 1990).Cross-Age Peer Tutoring ldPeer tutoring can influence positive interaction on the playground between students especially with older and younger students. Rooney-Rebeck and Jason (1986) also observed a positive and increased interaction between different ethnic groups on the playground after being in a peer tutoring program. Indeed, it seems that the effect of peer tutoring can be summarized in the following statement: “both tutors and tutees were unanimous in agreeing that peer tutoring helped them” (Green, Alderman & Liechty, 2004).Due to decreased funding and time allocated to our Learning Assistance programs, even though more and more students are being referred to the Learning Assistance program, teachers are collaborating with their LA teachers and colleagues to find ways to better support struggling students. Whether, it is in literacy or math, educators are using peer tutoring methods more often to support early intervention. For teachers, peer tutoring is just another teaching technique that enables teachers to be more effective by giving them time to work with other students. They can focus on new materials while allowing tutors to reinforce material covered. Peer tutoring is also very affordable considering the limited budgets and cut backs being made in Education. It is also a good opportunity for teachers to observe their students in a different situation and learn a great deal about their students during the tutoring time. According to Martino (1994), “recent cost effectiveness research reveals that peer tutoring provides greater achievement per dollar than other more often used educational innovations”. Peer tutoring is essentially a teaching support program that is simple, effective, does not cost too much money for materials, and students and teachers both benefit.Although it is agreed that peer tutoring is an effective reinforcement technique, as with any program, it is not fool proof and there are limitations or variables to consider. In reading the research, I found several limitations depending on the tutoring program being used. ForCross-Age Peer Tutoringexample, with Cross-age tutoring (CAT), RPT, CWPT, the students need to be monitored closely for behaviour on part of both the tutor and tutee. Sometimes the older students find it difficult to keep the younger students focused with Cross-Age peer tutoring. There are difficulties with classroom management of both tutor and tutee to sort out. Tutors and tutees become “tired” of the same routines and practice and their interest wanes, behaviour changes and there is not the same learning or enthusiasm as was the case initially. This is especially true if the tutor and tutee are meeting too many times during the week. The tutors may lack sufficient training or preparation as well, and the teachers may not have structured, designed or taught the tutors effectively or monitored the implementation of the program. Due to interruptions at school, it is difficult to sometimes have consistency of times during the day or week. It can be difficult to collect meaningful and measurable data depending on the situation or difficult to assess and evaluate academic improvement in some subjects. Quite often, teachers do not feel that they have the support of their administration to organize and carry out some form of an effective tutoring program.Summary.Despite these limitations and variables, the research still shows overwhelming evidence of the positive effects of peer tutoring outweighing the limitations and restrictions discussed. How teachers are involved in the training, monitoring and assessment procedures plays an important role in the efficacy of a peer tutoring program. The student’s attitude and effort are also very important to a peer tutoring program’s success. As DePaulo et al., (1989) state, a Cross-Age Peer tutoring program can be very successful when a few factors are considered. These include, a good match between the tutor and tutee, clearly defined objectives and careful selection ofCross-Age Peer Tutoringcontent, preparation of the tutors prior to starting, monitoring by teachers, continual assessment of student's progress, and on-going training and support.As educators, we are constantly searching for new ideas, methods, and strategies to better support and teach our students. In a society that has become more diverse culturally, and where schools have more ESL learners, increased enrolment in programs with decreased funding in Education, heavier teacher workloads, especially for our Learning Assistance teachers, and challenges that make it more difficult for teacher to meet the needs of each individual child,“peer tutoring has the potential to be very successful for students of all ages and ability levels regardless of their socio-economic status, cultural background or race (Omscheid, 1999, p.9).In our search to meet the educational needs of students who are struggling, teachers look to different means of support and reinforcement. Peer tutoring, in its various forms, has proven to be an effective and inexpensive method and can be incoiporated into existing cumculum with fthe goal of improving academics of children with diverse academic needs (Esteve, 2005, Ehly,1986).Peer tutoring can support early intervention m literacy and math in our schools. With our limited funds, time, resources and at the same time pressures to increase achievement on tests, such as the Fundamental Skills Assessment, teachers are looking for other ways to support struggling students. There are a lot of students who need help and a lot of students who can help, and this latter group of students become intervention agents as tutors. Peer tutoring can be very effective if is a planned, well-thought out structured system. It does not require a lot of work or organization, but does take some time in the beginning, to train, assist and support new tutors and to explain the role of the tutor and tutee to each one. The tutee has an important responsibility to be cooperative, receptive and respectful, just as the tutor, reciprocally, needs toCross-Age Peer Tutoringbe patient, kind, cooperative and respectful. All will benefit in the end, whether they are the tutor or tutee, and the teacher.ConclusionAs Cross-Age Peer tutoring (CAT) is our method of instruction, I hope to show how cross-age peer tutoring is an educationally effective, and cost-effective, intervention to support primary students struggling in literacy, reinforcing early school success. Early intervention, in the form of peer tutoring, can play a direct, and meaningful role, in helping to improve reading fluency, sight word and vocabulary development, and comprehension of the primary children being tutored. Our secondary goal of enhancing self-esteem and confidence, of both the tutor and tutee, is important to the process as well. Any program that will enable teachers to fulfill those goals is worth pursuing.Cross-Age Peer TutoringSection 3: Connections to PracticeIn connecting findings from my literature review with practice (i.e. how theory and research translate into practice), I decided I wanted to share how the Cross-Age tutoring program that we created for our primary French Immersion students works for us, and how it can be adapted to suit the needs of individual teachers, students and schools. Although this Cross-Age Tutoring program was designed specifically for my class, it can be adapted to support any L2 learners, ESL students, or students with special needs.Background of French ImmersionSince the French Immersion program is available and offered to all students, the parents do not have to be Francophone for their children to be in French Immersion. The "Programme Cadre", which is for Francophone families, requires one parent to be Francophone. As French Immersion teachers, it is our responsibility to provide the best opportunities for our students to be successful in the French Immersion program. A problem for the vast majority of our immersion students is that they do not have the support at home of someone who speaks French and who can monitor their home reading and writing (pronunciation, comprehension, spelling). Our French Learning Assistance teachers work very hard to provide the extra time needed to support our struggling students. However, their time is restricted by the school budget and they are always fighting for more time and more Educational Assistants who can support the studentsas well.I believe it takes a village to raise a child, and consequently it takes the school village of teachers, administration, Learning Assistance teachers, support staff and other students to help and support the learning of all students. Research has already shown that Peer Tutoring is anCross-Age Peer Tutoringeffective educational reinforcement tool. Three years ago, our French Learning Assistance teacher piloted a Cross-Age Peer Tutoring program whereby my grade 7 students were each paired with a student in grades 1, 2 and 3 who were in need of extra support, in French reading and writing. The focus was on early intervention and reinforcement of the primary students' French literacy skills. We believed this would significantly enhance literacy and early school success for our early primary students by providing them with additional one-on-one support in Reading and Writing with a French-speaking mentor/tutor. The tutoring program would provide a valuable reinforcement of both the classroom and the Learning Assistance programs. We have run the program each year since then, and during these last 3 years, we have been able to establish through assessment and observations, that the Cross-Age Peer Tutoring program has been effective for our primary students in need of extra support in literacy.Just as importantly, the Cross-Age tutoring program provides an important experience for the grade 7 tutors. We often find that with the increased curricular demands of the upper intermediate grades, the oral aspect of French is unfortunately neglected and the students’ ability to speak and read with clear enunciation of French sounds sometimes regresses. Consequently, the tutoring program provides a valuable opportunity for the older students to reinforce their own literacy skills and to practise their French oral speaking and reading. Just as importantly, the project promotes our Social Responsibility goals in developing respectful and responsible members of our school community. The grade 7 tutors are good role models for this goal as they develop interpersonal skills, and must demonstrate many virtues such as commitment, helpfulness, patience, service, compassion and understanding. They also develop their own self­esteem, and make a positive contribution to their school community. Overall, the projectCross-Age Peer Tutoringsupports the Ministry priority and District goal of promoting literacy and early school success (early intervention) while supporting our school goals of improving reading and writing skills.Inquiry into My Own Practice: Why do this?As a teacher, I am continually analyzing and reflecting on my teaching practice. I ask the questions, “What is the best way to benefit my students and their learning for success? Why do I teach the way I do? How do I improve my teaching? What about the student s point of view? I read different articles, books, attend workshops and professional development days on new methods or ways of improving my practice that help to change and grow with the students. I see myself as a teacher-researcher working informally in my classroom or collaboratively with my colleagues to improve and benefit our student's education and school experience.Although Teacher Action-Research is still a topic of debate, it has become more acceptable that research is not just exclusive to scientists and university academics. The world of research is changing and it is not just scientific and quantitative, it is inquiry into one's practice.It is not just testing a hypothesis and using data to draw conclusions. More classroom inquiry and collaborative inquiry is taking place in the educational system. Teacher inquiry also involves a problem-posing question motivated by the need to improve or change practice. It is critical self-inquiry within one's own classroom, and it is done by teachers, on their own work, with the intent to help them improve what they do and to look at their own educational practices. So for my purposes, my paper is based on my own classroom inquiry.This reflective type of inquiry can also be empowering to teachers by giving them a voice amoung their peers or with administration. As teachers, we already know the history of the school and area, our students, our colleagues, our school growth plans, and our school goals.Cross-Age Peer TutoringWith our collaborative inquiry and process, we are able contribute their knowledge base, and can feel empowered to share or present our findings with colleagues. It is a continual form of professional development. With increased sharing, collaboration and collegiahty, teachers develop important communication and dialogue between departments, disciplines and grade levels. This dialogue on instructional issues and student learning may influence teaching practices, initiate staff development which all contributes to education. This is how I look at the Cross-Age tutoring program. It is not only beneficial for the tutor and tutee involved, as research has demonstrated, but it is a form of a collaborative and collegial teaching practice amoung teachers in order to improve and benefit our student's learning and literacy success in the FrenchImmersion program.My Community of LearnersThe district I work in has a very diverse ethnic and multicultural population. There are atotal of 24 elementary schools, and 7 high schools, making up a total population of approximately 16,000 students. The district offers the French Immersion program in 5 elementary schools. There is also a Late French Immersion program that is offered in 2 elementary schools. There are 2 high schools where French Immersion and Late French Immersion students can continue on in French Immersion through to grade 12 and graduate with two Dogwood diplomas, one for high school and one for completing French Immersion.My school is located in a relatively non-transient area compared to some of the other schools, though it does have a few cross-boundary students across the grades. This neighbourhood is made up of predominately middle to upper class families. Statistics from a school survey indicate that 84% of the parent population at the school have a high school education or higher. Although it is not a very ethnically diverse neighbourhood as are some ofCross-Age Peer Tutoringthe other areas in the district, 10% of the students speak a language other than English in their home. My school has a very strong and active Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and encourages parent support within the classroom in the form of volunteering to read to students or listening to students read, and helping with various activities. The school supports several special initiativessuch as:1) The objectives and goals to improve literacy skills of at-risk students in grades 4 to 7.2) The objectives and goals to reduce the number of at-risk Grade 3-7 students in the Social Responsibility areas of Relationships, Health and Fitness.3) The Virtues Project and program to support the Social Responsibility goal of relationships.4) The provincial “ME to WE” social and world awareness program (the school raised $14,000 to adopt a village in Sierra Leone the 2009/2010 academic year).5) The administration of School Satisfaction surveys each yeàr.My elementary school is a “dual track” school that offers French Immersion and English from the K-7 grades. In 2011, the school will add all-day kindergarten to its numbers. There are a total of 561 students, 219 in the English stream and 342 in French Immersion. As with most schools in the district, there has been a decline in English program enrolment but our school continues to maintain a fairly strong number there. There has been a shift in enrolment patterns over the past few years as students entering the system in kindergarten are enrolling in FrenchImmersion.There are 28 classroom teachers and we have itinerant specialist teachers, who otfer support, such as; Speech Pathologist, Psychologist, Counselor, First Nations Liaison,Cross-Age Peer TutoringMainstream Support, and a Child Care Worker. We have a strong support team. There are 4 Special Education Assistants (SEA’s) who work with both French and English students from various grades and ages, supporting students with Individual Educational Plans (IEP s) set up by the Learning Assistance Teachers. The school offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) program that supports 23-25 students comprised mostly of children who have immigrated from Taiwan and other parts of Asia. The First Nations Liaison teacher has 6 Aboriginal students he sees on a regular basis. The ESL and First Nations numbers vary between the different schools. There are 12 students, classified as Gifted, and who are being supported as well in a “Gifted” program.Our school is lucky to employ two Learning Assistant Teachers. There is a full time English Learning Assistance teacher, for the English program and the English LA teacher has 30 students with IEP’s, and as most of them are designated Learning Disabled (LD), the SEA’s are able to support and work with these students. The full time French Learning Assistance teacher works with approximately 41 students from gradel to 7. She is also helping to bridge the transition of 7 students who have moved from the French to English program; 6 of them have IEP’s, while there are 24 students with IEP’s in French, as it is. Thus, she has a total of 30 out of 41 students with IEP’s to support. As can be seen, the Learning Assistance teachers are very busy and have a lot of students to support.Identifying Tutors and Tutees.Along with the school wide goals and objectives of improving literacy skills in grades 4 to 7 students, our school supports the District and Ministry' of Education emphasis on early intervention in the primary grades, targeting grades 1 to 3, to improve reading and writing. AsCross-Age Peer Tutoringindicated by the number of students in the French Learning Assistance program, there are 22 students in grades 1, 2 and 3 that are priority and qualify for the extra Learning Assistance time. However, there are still many French Immersion primary students who do not qualify for Learning Assistance time, but who could use extra reading and writing practice, and support, that is not always able to be provided by the classroom teacher in their already busy day.As was indicated earlier, Peer Tutoring is an effective educational reinforcement tool, so our French Learning Assistance teacher and I introduced a Cross-Age Peer Tutoring program for a few of our grade one and two French Immersion students who were in need of extra support, in French reading and writing. The focus was on extra practice and reinforcement of the primary students’ French literacy skills. In September, the grade 1 and 2 participants (6 and 7 year olds) were selected in collaboration and discussion between their classroom teacher and the French Learning Assistance teacher. The French LA teacher also administered pre-tests of reading fluency, strategies and comprehension using the French “Coli” diagnostic kit, GB+ kit and the Alpha-Jeunes Evaluation de lecture kits which are similar to the English Alberta Diagnostic Test and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT). We ended up with 8 grade ones and 8 grade twos for a total of 16 students. These primary students do not qualify for Learning Assistance time, but the belief was that they would benefit from some extra practice in recognition of French sight words and reading practice in a one-to-one situation with an older student reinforcing theirphonemic awareness as well.Because there were 28 students in my grade 7 class, 11 boys and 17 girls (between 12 and 13 years old), and only 16 grade l ’s and 2’s between 2 classes, we also included tutoring for some grade 3,4 and 5 students who we matched up with 11 grade seven students. In October, the students in grade 7 were given a questionnaire (Appendix A) that asked for their preference24Cross-Age Peer Tutoringof grade level to work with, either grade 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and a choice of once or twice per week. It helped us in our matching up of tutors to tutees. We weren't always able to honour their requests, but we tried to do so as much as possible. We also took into account individual personalities as we matched up the grade 7 students with the primary students, grades 1,2, and with the few grade4 and 5 students.In French Immersion, French is spoken 100% of the time from kindergarten to grade 2. In grade 3, the students start receiving one hour of English instruction per day. In grades 4 to 7, the students will have 80% of the day taught in French with about 20% in English. We included grades 3, 4 and 5, as we needed tutors to work with some students in English for extra support in the moving from French to English, or just to reinforce their English literacy skills. As emphasis is put on early intervention to support students struggling in literacy, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the Cross-Age Peer tutoring for the grade ones and twos.Program Development and ImplementationIn November 2009, we set up a tutoring program that consisted of:Grade 1 : French only once per week- 8 students-one student received 2 times week- Grade 2: French only, once per week- 8 studentsOur focus was this group of 16 grade ones and twos being tutored once per week from November 2009 to June 2010.We then provided tutoring opportunities for students in the other grades that needed reinforcement in French, English or Math support.- Grade 4: French or English support: 2 students, one a week for one grade 4 teacher- Grade 4: French or English support- 2 students, once a week for another grade 4 teacherCross-Age Peer Tutoring- Grade 4: French or English support- 3 students, twice a week, for another grade 4 teacher- Grade 5: French or English- 1 student twice per week- Grade 5: French or English- 4 students from the same class as above, once per week- Grade 6: French or English- 2 students, once per week (added in January 2010)- Grade 1 : English only (bridging)- 1 student, once per week- Grade 2: English only (bridging)- 1 student, once per week2009/2010 ImplementationThe peer-tutoring program took place for a half hour during regular classroom instruction on Monday and Wednesday. It started in November 2009, and concluded in June 2010. In November, the Learning Assistance teacher took the grade 7 tutors aside for a training session on how to proceed with the tutoring activities prior to working with their tutee. The grade 7 tutor and primary grade tutee (grade 1 and 2) meet once a week to reinforce literacy skills in reading (fluency, sight word recognition) and in writing (sentence length, word choice). The tutor did a variety of simplified reading and writing activities with their tutee such as: sight word practice, paired reading, echo reading, journal entries, responding orally, and possibly, in writing, to stories read together or aloud, and playing vocabulary development-type games. The tutors were taught how to use a variety of literacy strategies from a collection of literacy resources developed and put together by educators such as the Reading 44 strategies (North Vancouver School District), Adrienne Gear’s Reading Powers, and Kelly Buis’ writing strategies that were already being implemented in the classrooms. In this way, both the teacher and the students were potentially using the same, shared common language and strategies. The hope was that this would increase the older student’s metacognitive knowledge of the reading process as well.Also, the older students were introduced to activities and strategies cl to develop the youngerCross-Age Peer Tutoringstudents’ phonemic and phonological awareness. In January 2010, the tutors met with the Learning Assistance teacher to go over the different strategies again. During my observations, I spent time reinforcing, explaining and modeling different strategies to the tutors in order to add variety to their sessions.Each grade 7 tutor, and grade 1 or 2 tutee, had their own tutoring kit. The tutee’s name was on the package and it was their's for the entire year. Inside their kit, there was a package of French sight words, approximately 70 words that changed throughout the year as the tutee “mastered” the list (see example of one sheet in Appendix B ), word or number development games such as “Snakes and Ladders” (that are updated or changed throughout the year), dice, markers, little readers (levels change during the year), incentive stickers and a little notebook/journal for the tutor to keep observations and notes in after the session (see Appendix C & D for photos of the kits).The tutor and tutee worked either in the hall, my classroom or in the Learning Assistance room where we could monitor and oversee their tutoring sessions. The session typically started with the tutor and tutee practising and working on the sight words, while the tutor checked for acquisition and comprehension by making little check marks beside the word. Then, the pair had some shared reading time with a book chosen from the controlled package levels of GB+, a French series of books (photos of tutor and tutee in Appendix E). After their reading time, which was 20 out of the 30 minutes, the tutor and tutee played any of the different word or number games provided. At the end of their session, they cleaned up their kits together, the tutor walked the tutee back to class, and the tutor had time to write some observations or thoughts in his/her little notebook, reflecting on that session.Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 27Cross-Age Peer Tutoring Evaluating the ProgramAfter administering the pre-tests to establish our tutees in October, the Learning Assistance teacher re-tested the students in November, February, March and June. She kept anecdotal notes on the students when she tested them. In June, she used the diagnostic kits to do post-tests with the students. Here is a list of the evaluations we collected:- Learning Assistance teacher's pre and post tests and results: September, November,February, March and June- Notes kept by the Learning Assistance teacher on the tutees development during testing- Field notes and observations by the classroom teacher during the 30 minute sessions- . Written anecdotal records and observations by the tutors of their tutees reading- A reading log of books read by tutees to show level of development- Mid-way questionnaire for grade 7 tutors to see how the program was going in their eyes- Post questionnaire given to the grade 7’s regarding their experience as a tutor working with the primary students (how they felt about tutoring, if it was worthwhile and if ithelped them)- Post questionnaire given to the primary students regarding their experience- Informal post questionnaire for the classroom teachers involved is to them in JunePlease refer to Appendices A, F, G, H, I, for the questionnaires.My primary method of evaluation, throughout the tutoring program, were field notes, observations and interviews with the tutors. My written observations were done during the tutoring sessions, and I added notes later on, when I thought of something. I recorded notes on the behaviours, attitudes and conversations of both the tutor and tutee. The tutors wrote in their28personal little notebooks/journals at the end of each session. After reading the journals, I noticed their comments were mostly about how well the tutee read that day, what sight words they knew, how well they were at decoding and their instant recognition of sounds, how quickly, or not so quickly, they read words in games or the little books, and if their tutee had improved or if they spoke in French. Some even used the word “fluency”, which was interesting, as this is vocabulary used in the classroom by the teacher. Their observations were very informative and thoughtful. For example, he grade 7 tutors also liked it when I read their journals and commented on how great their notes were and how helpful they were: I administered a mid-way questionnaire (Appendix F) to all 28 tutors to see how they were enjoying tutoring, or if they thought their tutee had improved and what improvements they had noticed. The majority of tutors enjoyed the tutoring. I focused on the 16 grade 7's working with the grade ones and twos and they all thought their tutee had improved since October in fluency and recognition of sight words, letter/sound knowledge and alphabet.The Learning Assistance teacher kept all the scores of the educational tests she had administered, along with the post-test results in June for comparison. After reviewing educational tests done throughout the year, she noticed a" significant" improvement with the majority of the 16 primary tutees and a "satisfactory to good" improvement with the others. All 16 grade ones and twos benefited from the extra one-to-one tutoring sessions that focused on their sight words, phonemic awareness and overall literacy development. The questionnaire in June for the teachers (Appendix G) was very valuable in order to help us re-evaluate and improve the program to best suit and benefit the teachers' needs. Teacher A observed that it was beneficial for the students who couldn't get the extra support at home. This helped affirm for us one of the main goals for doing the tutoring. She also suggested we provide a brief overview ofCross-Age Peer Tutoringwhat the tutors were doing so she can have an idea as well. Teacher B observed that her grade twos were more adept at taking words apart and finding small words in larger words. She said she liked the time slot as the other students were doing their silent reading or partner reading. Teacher B also suggested that the sessions be 20 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes, as it impacts the class schedule. At times, the tutoring sessions would go almost 40 minutes as the students really enjoyed their time together. Both teachers' comments and input were very important and will be carefully considered for subsequent years to follow.The June questionnaire to the primary tutees (Appendix I) shared interesting results. All the grade ones and twos enjoyed having a tutor and agreed the tutor made learning to read more fun. The majority of tutees said they learned to remember more words, to read more smoothly, to use strategies for comprehension and they understood to a greater extent what they were reading by the end of the year.The June questionnaire to the grade 7 tutors was most helpful (Appendix H). The majority of the students gave very constructive feedback and comments that were helpful. The majority of the difficulties were that the tutee wouldn't listen at times and was easily distracted. During the year, as I monitored the sessions, I would help the tutor with this kind of problem and give them ideas on how to refocus their tutee. This would be the hardest thing for the tutors as they are only 12 years old themselves. When asked what virtues they needed when working with younger children, all said patience for sure and others such as, respect, tolerance, kindness, cooperation, peacefulness, perseverance and understanding. They covered a lot of virtues they had to practice and learn! Overall, the majority of the grade 7's liked tutoring. They commented that they felt a sense of responsibility, that it was nice to help others and "kind of fun". I feelCross-Age Peer Tutoringthis really reinforced our goal of developing their self-esteem, confidence, leadership, team building skills and helping them become positive contributors to the school community.Cross-Age Peer Tutoring dSection 4: Conclusion Reflections and Implications for Further Practice: Where do I go from here?As I have always believed, and as DeRita and Weaver (1991) also state, children are great motivators for other children, and sometimes they are the best teachers for each other. I learned this from my own personal experience as a student and as a tutor during my high school and university years. This has also proven true in observing the Cross-Age tutoring sessions and we have learned a great deal in the last 4 years in running the program. Each year we learn something new and have made improvements. As the literature claims, we learned that Cross- Age tutoring needs to be very structured, organized and guided to be most effective. Each year we re-evaluate and analyze the program. Originally, we had the older students tutoring two times a week but we learned that this was too much for them, and for the tutees, and they both became bored and lacked enthusiasm. Consequently, last year and this year, we limited the tutoring sessions to once a week and this has proven to be much better for the tutor and tuteealike.Our Learning Assistance teacher trained the tutors in smaller groups before starting and really emphasized the importance of spending 20 minutes on vocabulary words, sight words and reading. It is important to monitor the tutor/tutee sessions and this can be difficult given where the students are working. For example, if some are in the hallway, some in the classroom or a few in the LA room, then it makes it more difficult to monitor their behaviour and sessions together. This year, the grade one and two groups are working in the LA teacher's room during their tutoring sessions. This way it is easier to monitor, observe and help the tutors and be easily available for both the tutor and tutee alike. The tutor kits still have vocabulary and number games, but we took out some so as not to have too many to choose from, as the games should beCross-Age Peer Tutoringfor the last 10 minutes of the session. This way we can also change the games during the year and have more control over the learning we want to happen with the games.We have been very successful in matching up our tutors and tutees and have not had any major problems with the pairings. It has worked well because our LA teacher knows both the primary and intermediate students and we, the teachers of both ages, all work well together to communicate the students' needs. This is definitely one other key ingredient to a successful program; collaboration and cooperation. When the students are together, we have to be sensitive to helping the tutors with discipline and management of the tutee. The tutors take their role very seriously and become easily frustrated when the tutee will not listen or make an effort. This is where they have to learn all those tough virtues of patience, compassion, tolerance, understanding and perseverance that are very important virtues needed in becoming good members of their school and of the greater community of life.According to research, Cross-Age tutoring is an effective intervention and instructional strategy that demonstrates positive results in a short duration of time, and can be implemented with relative ease (Fisette, 1996). It is an effective method, no matter the age, and is very cost effective when done in schools. The Cross-Age tutoring program reflects reciprocal and social learning approaches, demonstrating the transference of skills and knowledge, where both the tutor and tutee benefit from the reinforcement of reading strategies. Decades of research has demonstrated that well-planned peer tutoring programs can improve student achievement and self-esteem as well as overall school climate (Gaustad, 1993). These are a few key ingredients to success to remember: careful partnering of tutor and tutee; train tutors to learn effective tutorial and communications skills; train tutors on material being used and monitor tutoring sessions; a structured program development; frequent assessment of the program from student feedbackCross-Age Peer Tutoring ' 3 3gives teachers/us ways to make lessons and the experience more effective ; on-going supervision and support; have tutor "talk" sessions for tutors to gain psychological support by talking out frustrations and sharing successes while learning from each other's experiences.(Gaustad, 1993).To date, it has been a very beneficial and supportive early intervention program for our French primary students who struggle with literacy and need reinforcement. Cross-Age peer tutoring takes the concept of “buddy classes” one step further by being a more structured and supportive program to French Immersion primary students struggling in literacy skills. Just us important, the project promotes our Social Responsibility goals in developing respectful and responsible members of our school community. The grade 7 tutors are good role models for, this goal as they develop interpersonal skills, and must demonstrate many virtues such as corhmitment, helpfulness, patience, service, compassion and understanding. They also develop their own self-esteem, and make a positive contribution to their school community.Since I have personally felt the benefits socially, emotionally and academically of being a tutor throughout my own informative, and impressionable, elementary and high school years, I know that the students are making a difference in someone else's life and will one day feel that sense of pride. We are all a community of learners and learning is a social process. We all want to feel needed, feel like we're making a difference and feel that we can have a positive influence. I am always questioning my practice and myself. This personal inquiry into my own practice, drives me to look for new ways to help and challenge my students, with the hope of creating positive memories and experiences for them in their school career and in their personal life. As I believe it takes a village to raise a child, and consequently it takes the school village of teachers, administration, Learning Assistance teachers, support staff, and other students, to help andCross-Age Peer Tutoringsupport the learning of all students, I will keep supporting the Cross-Age peer tutoring program so that all our students will have a feeling of success.Cross-Age Peer TutoringReferencesBakhitin, M. M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. University of Texas Press: AustinBaker, R. H. (2005). Teacher-directed instruction plus classwide peer tutoring and the reading growth of first-grade students. (M.S., California State University, Fresno).Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. 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Edited by Cole, M., John-Steiner, V., Scribner, S. & Souberman, E., Cambridge MA: MIT Press.Webb, M. (1982). Student interaction and learning in small groups. Review o f Educational Research, 52(3), 421.Webb, M. (1988). Peer helping relationships in urban schools. Equity and Choice, Spring, 35-38What, W. C. (2007). Peer tutoring and response groups. What works clearinghouse intervention report. What Works Clearinghouse.Wright, J., & Cleary, K. S. (2006). Kids in the tutor seat: Building schools' capacity to help struggling readers through a cross-age peer-tutoring program. Psychology in the Schools, 43(1), 99-107.Zuengler, J. & Miller, E. (2006). Cognitive and sociocultural perspectives: Two parallel SLA worlds? TESOL Quarterly, 40( 1), 35-58.Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 43Appendices Appendix ASeptember Questionnaire for the tutorName:_____ ______________________ _1. I would like to tutor:Q Once a week IJ Twice a week2 Here are my prefered grade choices. Put 1 for your first choice and 2 for your second choice.  Grade 1  Grade 2  Grade 3  Grade 4Grade 544Cross-Age Peer TutoringThank you! Merci!Cross-Age Peer TutoringAppendix BExample of French sight words.45rouge bleujaune auun filleBonjour deux. m'appelle RegardeVoici OhJ e garçonune troisIAV_  1  v u  V  i  V f ^ V /  * wCross-Age Peer TutoringAppendix CPhotos of the tutoring kits.WWÊË&-v m * * * * * * *s ra u u tmrr#§9r*r§99V. I v>Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 47Appendix I)Photos of the materials in the tutoring kits.Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 48Appendix EPhotos of a tutor and tuteeCross-Age Peer Tutoring 49Appendix FMid-Year Questionnaire for TutorsDate:Please circle:I am the tutor: Boy GirlMy tutee: is: Grade French or English Boy Girl1) Overall, so far, do you enjoy your role as a tutor?2) If yes, what do you like about it?3) If no, what do you not like about it?4) Do you think your tutee has made any improvements in his/her reading or writing since the start of the program?Yes No5) If yes, what improvements have you noticed?6) What virtues do you think are needed to be a tutor?Cross-Age Peer Tutoring Appendix F con't7) Do you feel that being a tutor has helped you develop these virtues?Yes No Maybe8) Would you be a tutor again? Yes No Maybe9) If yes, why?10) If no, why not?11) Circle the one that best describes how you feel about your role as a tutor:1 -dislike it a lot 2 -dislike it 3-sort of like it 4-like it a lot 5 - love it12) Please write any thoughts or suggestions that you think could help or improve our tutoring program.Thank you for all of your help and hard work!Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 51Appendix GPlease circle:Teacher grade1) Overall, did your student/students appear to like going with his/her tutor?Yes No2) Have you observed any improvements in your student’s reading ability since the start of the tutoring program?Yes No3) If yes, briefly describe what you have observed:4) Do you feel that the tutoring program is an effective or helpful supplemental program to support the primary students that are struggling in reading or writing?Yes No5) Would you want your students to participate in this type of Cross-Age peer tutoring program again next year?Yes No6) Please write any thoughts or suggestions that you have that could help or improve the tutoring program. Your suggestions are important to us.June Questionnaire for Participating TeachersGrade 1 Grade 2Appendix H.Tune Questionnaire for Tutors1) Overall, do you think that the tutoring was a worthwhile volunteer activity? Why or why not?Cross-Age Peer Tutoring 522) How did the tutoring help you develop your leadership skills?3) What virtues did you need to work with the younger children?4) What did you find difficult when tutoring?5) What strategies seemed to work best with your young student?6) Overall, did you enjoy the tutoring experience? _7) Would you do it again if you had the opportunity?Cross-Age Peer Tutoring Appendix IJune Questionnaire for Primary TuteesPlease circle the choices: Grade 1 Grade 21) Did you like having a tutor? Yes No2) Did your tutor help make learning to read more fun? Yes No3) Did you learn to remember more words? Yes No4) Did you learn to read faster? Yes No5) Did you learn to read more smoothly? Yes No6) Did your tutor teach you some strategies to help you understand better when you are reading? Yes No7) Did you understand what you were reading better by the end of the year?Y es NoThank you for working with your big tutor this year!


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