Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Assege HaileMariam


The present study was designed to assess the effectiveness of the Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) for teaching English reading skills to Hispanic English language learners (ELL) in the third grade. The current literature shows a rapid increase of Hispanic students in the U.S., however, due to a lack of exposure to the English language at an early age, many ELL students are behind their non-ELL peers in academic achievement, especially in reading. The PALS program was designed as an alternative approach to teacher-led instruction to help ameliorate reading difficulties, and although its effectiveness has been demonstrated with a variety of students, little research has been conducted on its effectiveness for teaching reading to Hispanic ELL students, especially in the early grades. Therefore, this study assessed PALS' effectiveness for teaching English reading skills as well as increasing social status for third grade ELL students. Results showed that PALS was significantly effective for increasing reading fluency amongst ELL students, although no significant results were found for reading comprehension or social status. These findings are inconsistent with existing research and the implications and limitations are discussed.