Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction

First Committee Member

Steven McCafferty, Chair

Second Committee Member

John Butcher

Third Committee Member

LeAnn Putney

Graduate Faculty Representative

Shaoan Zhang

Number of Pages



English Language Learners make up more than half of the student population in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada ("Nevada Report Card", 2008-09). This is a compelling enough number to motivate teachers, principals, and schools as a whole to reflect on the practices and programs set in place to meet the needs of these students. This study looks specifically at two classrooms in CCSD, observing the teachers' practices and strategies for effectively meeting the needs of their English Language Learners that are a part of their mainstream classrooms. Pervasive strategies that stood out during the course of the study were interaction in the classroom, differentiated instruction, and scaffolding. The teachers involved differed in their motivation, background, and knowledge in relationship to teaching ELLs. The differences became evident as a result of the observations in their classrooms, as well as their survey responses. This study could serve as a resource for teachers who would like to improve their approaches in meeting the needs of ELLs in their classroom, as well as assist in understanding the background of research based practices that are suggested to be effective when working with students that come from diverse linguistic backgrounds. The information included also illustrates the need to further teachers' education in relationship to teaching diverse populations.


Classroom environment; Elementary school; ELL students; English language — Study and teaching (Elementary) — Foreign speakers; Interaction; Language development; Minorities — Education


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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