Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Second Committee Member

Tracy Spies

Third Committee Member

Joshua Baker

Fourth Committee Member

Randall Boone

Number of Pages



Recent changes to federal education laws for students with and without disabilities have kindled an increased interest in implementing evidence-based practices for teaching academic skills to all students, including students with severe disabilities and students learning English. Teaching students with significant disabilities who are learning English poses a unique set of challenges. To date, no research has been conducted on teaching science to students with significant intellectual disabilities who are learning English.

This study was designed to measure the effect of an evidence-based science curriculum, delivered in both English and Spanish using the preview-view-review (PVR) strategy, on the science vocabulary and content knowledge acquired by students with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities who are learning English. This intervention was compared to the same research-based science curriculum delivered in English only. Using a parallel treatments design, both the English and PVR interventions were delivered concurrently via different, but equally challenging lessons on cells (English only) and precipitation (PVR).

Results indicate that both the English-only and PVR interventions were effective in teaching science vocabulary words and pictures to English learners with ID. While the addition of Spanish in the PVR condition did not produce significantly higher outcomes than the English-only instruction, it also had no negative effects on student learning. Although there was no measurable difference in the amount of participation between the two conditions, there was a noticeable difference in the quality of discussion and participation in the PVR condition.


English Learners; Intellectual Disabilities; Middle school science; Native language; Preview-View-Review; Science


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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