Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Jeffrey Gelfer

Number of Pages



Learning and Education occur in social contexts. The quality of children's peer relationships is an important indication of children's current and later social adjustment. Children with peer problems tend to experience higher levels of loneliness and other undesirable affective consequences, including social dissatisfaction and worrying about peer relations. Because of the limited language proficiency and cultural and ethnic differences among children with LEP, some of their social behaviors are considered inappropriate by their non-LEP teachers and peers. On the other hand, children with LEP may feel that they do not fit in a group or class activity. As a result, these children tend to have less social interaction with their peers than non-LEP children; The purpose of this dissertation study was to evaluate the effects of Classwide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) on social interaction behaviors of children with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and children who are native English speakers (non-LEP). Two second-grade classrooms from an elementary school were selected as the research setting for this study. CWPT was used as the independent variable and children's frequency of social interactions (defined and measured by Social Interaction Observation System) was the dependent variable; One classroom (Class 1) included 13 children with LEP and one child with non-LEP. The other classroom (Class 2) included 13 children with non-LEP and one child with bilingual language capabilities. Seven children with LEP from Class 1 and 7 children with non-LEP from Class 2 were selected as the subjects in this study. Subjects' ages ranged from 7 to 8 years old. All children from the two settings were observed and videotaped during the study; Findings of this study indicated that CWPT was effective for both children with LEP and children with non-LEP. Statistical tests showed no significant difference between these two groups or between boys and girls on the effects of intervention. Single subject data indicated that the intervention was relatively more effective for children with LEP (295% of increase) than children with non-LEP (118% of increase). In both groups, children were engaged in very few negative behaviors. Strategies of pairing did not influence the effectiveness of CWPT. Questionnaires from the teachers and students indicated that both teachers and students enjoyed the process of CWPT and they intended to continuously use CWPT on a regular basis.


Children; Classwide; Classwide Peer Tutoring; Children; Effects; English; Interactions; Limited English Proficient; Peer; Peer Tutoring; Proficiency; Social; Social Interactions; Tutoring

Controlled Subject

Early childhood education; Education, bilingual; Education, Elementary; Educational sociology

File Format


File Size

5150.72 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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