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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Institute of Education Sciences
Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies

IES What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes*
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of studies meeting the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards investigating the effectiveness of peer-assisted interventions on the literacy and language skills of elementary school aged children. The effectiveness of the intervention was categorized as Meets Evidence Standards, Meets Evidence Standards with Reservation or Does Not Meet Evidence Standard based on the What Works Clearinghouse classification system. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are considered strong evidence (Meets Evidence Standards), quasi-experimental studies are considered weaker evidence (Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations) and single-case design studies are considered insufficient evidence or under development (Does Not Meet Evidence Standards). 

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: School-aged children with diverse academic needs, including English language learners.

Intervention/Assessment: Peer-assisted learning strategies

Number of Studies Included: 1

Years Included: Not stated



  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Reading
        • Peer-Assisted Instruction
          • Based on one study, "[t]he WWC considers the extent of the evidence for Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to be small for reading achievement (Meets Evidence Standards) (p. 1).
          • No studies met the WWC criteria for Meets Evidence Standards with or without Reservations to determine the effectiveness of Peer-Assisted Learning on English Language development or math achievement outcomes.

Keywords: English Language Learners, Learning Disabilities, Literacy

Access the Review


*See the WWC Evidence Review Protocol for inclusion criteria

Added to Compendium: February 2012

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