MELVA-S (Measuring the Language and Vocabulary Acquisition in Science of Latinx Students) will develop and test an online formative assessment that measures the depth of word knowledge in science of second- and third-grade Latina/o students. To explain and discuss science phenomena, students need a deep understanding of vocabulary that is not always targeted in textbooks. MELVA-S will provide teachers with a quick measure of students’ understanding of science words in Spanish or in English, so they can adjust their teaching accordingly.


Second- and third-grade Latina/o students. If it is preferable to the school, we can assess all students in a class regardless of ethnicity.


  • Free professional development on how to use the results of the measure will be provided.
  • All assessment materials used during the study will be provided.
  • The results of the study will be shared with the district and schools using deidentified data.
  • Students will be able to respond in Spanish or in English to the prompts. 


Doris Luft Baker, Ph.D., Principal Investigator 

Holland Kowalkowski, M.S., Project Coordinator