UBC Graduate Research

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


The 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 that takes 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 with students 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 practice in 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 the tutee (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.

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