Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Tom Pierce

Number of Pages



Researchers agree that developing high quality programs using evidence based practice and active participation from students with disabilities, who receive instruction with typical peers, is critical to overall student achievement and success of inclusive practice (Bailey, McWilliam, Buysse, & Wesley, 1998; Villa, Thousand, Meyers, & Nevin, 1996; Volz, Brazil, & Ford, 2001). Identifying what interventions are necessary in order to support the developmental objectives and positive outcomes of young children remains a priority concern (Cavallaro, Ballard-Rosa, & Lynch, 1998). This study addressed the following questions: (a) Do peer tutoring sessions in early childhood settings increase oral language vocabulary in students with disabilities who have language delay? (b) Do peer tutoring sessions generalize use of learned vocabulary to a new classroom setting by students with disabilities who have language delay? (c) Does a balanced model of peer tutoring maintain new vocabulary use between the tutee and typical peers in an independent choice center following the tutoring sessions? An examination of the effects of peer tutoring sessions in order to improve oral vocabulary for young students with disabilities were addressed; The goals of the study were: (a) to investigate peer tutoring sessions and vocabulary growth in young students with disabilities who have language delays, (b) to measure oral vocabulary growth over a six week period, (c) to analyze student use of vocabulary in classroom interest centers, (d) to promote the findings from this study in order to improve educator and family access and understanding of peer tutoring across settings and (e) to demonstrate a balanced model of peer tutoring and the gains for the tutee and the tutor; A pretest was conducted in order to determine current vocabulary levels for the participants in this study. The results of peer tutoring as an intervention were summarized after six weeks of the study. Students with disabilities increased oral language vocabulary when typical peers modeled new words and followed the peer tutoring steps.


Childhood; Early; Early Childhood; Impact; Inclusion; Inclusive; Inclusion; Language; Language Delay; Oral Language; Peer; Peer Tutoring; Sessions; Settings; Tutoring; Vocabulary

Controlled Subject

Early childhood education; Special education

File Format


File Size

3686.4 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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