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IRIS Center Learning: Benefits of PALS


The development of a learning strategy is very important in any education system and depends on a number of factors including the students’ characteristics, the available resources, and expected results. PALS are peer-assisted learning systems; which are meant to help students learn better from their peers. In this case samples of students’ assignments and enrolment, structures are also accounted for in PALS. Further, PALS are well framed to show the learning information for various levels whose benefits are discussed as below (Goldsmith, 2002).

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The PALS are very beneficial to students; as in this case, students are able to assist one another in the areas that are technical. Based on this, students’ understanding will be enhanced thus leading to better grades, which is because students learn better from their peers than from their elders. Secondly PALS help students to develop their interactive skills, which is possible through the discussions and consultations students make from one another through the PALS. Further, there is also a significant development of students’ grades as a result of the PALS; thus of benefit to both students and the teachers (Go,ldsmithelps002).

Further, PALS are very beneficial in improving the students’ final grades thus making them more marketable within the withjob market. Based on this, the learners’ future life is improved thus helping to realize the objectives of education and employment pursuit. Further, PALS are very beneficial since they are learner-centered; where in this case learning becomes more effective since learners’ characteristics are given the first priority. In addition, PALS are very beneficial to the teachers in that they relieve the teacher of their demanding daily classroom routine activities. Based on this the teacher can take this break to do other constructive activities, which make the process of teaching more efficient and effective (Goldsmith, 2002).

The K-PALS is the kindergarten peer-assisted learning system which consists of 20 minutes learning period three days a week for 20 weeks. The K- PALS involves the teacher grouping his learners into different pairs and selecting the leaders for each section. In each group the students have different roles and activities to be performed in turns; where the students’ characteristics are also put into consideration accommodating both the sharp and slow learners. In this regard, the different students are allocated different times to play their parts, to enhance their areas of strength, and improve weak areas and abilities. Further, different skills are learned in the K- PALS for instance mastering words, colors, and also the mastering of sounds (Goldsmith, 2002).

First grade PALS on the other hand is a 30- minute period which is carried out 3 days a week for a duration of 16 to 20 weeks. In the first grades PALS, the learners are also put into groups and given different roles to play, wherein in this case we have the coach who is responsible for kicking off the learning activity; among the students who play varied roles towards the realization.

Further, this level is more advanced as compared to the K- PALS; as in this case, students learn peer teaching and more concrete areas like the reading of comprehensions and word recognition. Additionally, sound and word monitoring help in the learning of phonemic competence, where the listening and mastering of words and sounds is done through a routine process. In the first grade, the reading of passages is used to enhance fluency; thus developing students’ communication skills (Goldsmith, 2002).

First grade PALS is also very different from the K- PALS in that it consists of numerous activities, which include the storytelling modalities; wherefrom this case the students learn how to master and follow events in sequence. In addition, students can gain more skills through routine tasks (Goldsmith, 2002).

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Within the K- PALS, the pairing of students is based on their learning characteristics; where there is a total integration of the slow learners with bright learners. Further, students with the same abilities are sometimes grouped together, so as to ensure a sense of harmony in the understanding of concepts and to ensure the self esteem of learners is maintained. Moreover, the groupings based on learner characteristics also ensures efficiency in learning, where in this case the teacher give assistance where necessary (Goldsmith, 2002).

In the case where one student is absent in a class of twenty, the teacher can pair the first 18 students. After the pairing the students; the teacher should give them the tasks to be carried out, during which the teacher should also carryout the same task together with the remaining student. Based on this the learning activity will go on as planned thus avoiding inconveniences (Goldsmith, 2002).

In the implementation of the PALS, there are several factors that a new teacher should put into consideration so as to maintain a conducive learning environment. The first step is to learn the students’ abilities and their distinctive characteristics; which will help the teacher arrive at the making of effective pairs. The next step a new teacher should undertake is to look at the learning activities appropriate to the learners, where in this case the learners’ academic abilities are put into consideration thus increasing the effectiveness of the PALS (Goldsmith, 2002).


Based on the discussion on the operation of PALS, it is clear that PALS are very beneficial and inevitable for a successful learning process. Nevertheless proper planning is essential in order to arrive to the achievement of effective and efficient PALS functioning.

Reference list

Goldsmith, O. (2002). “Pen pals: all rise”; New York: Dutton Press.

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StudyCorgi. "IRIS Center Learning: Benefits of PALS." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "IRIS Center Learning: Benefits of PALS." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'IRIS Center Learning: Benefits of PALS'. 26 November.

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