How can one learn mathematical word problems in a second language? A cognitive load perspective

Source of Publication

Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in the Digital Age, CELDA 2015


Language may ordinarily account for difficulties in solving word problems and this is particularly true if mathematical word problems are taught in a language other than one's native language. Research into cognitive load may offer a clear theoretical framework when investigating word problems because memory, specifically working memory, plays a major role in solving problems successfully. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of language when solving mathematical word problems while taking into consideration participant's limited working memory. The participants' main role was to solve word problems in a format that depended on the group they were assigned to. The study utilized a qualitative method approach and involved three phases, a pre-testing, acquisition, and testing phase. Predominant findings from this study show that there was a statistically significant difference between the various groups participants were assigned to.

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Conference Proceeding



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