Title

Does language really matter when solving mathematical word problems in a second language? A cognitive load perspective

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Educational Studies

Publication Date

1-2-2020

Abstract

© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In a bilingual educational setting, even when mathematical word problems are presented in one’s first language, students may still perform poorly if cognitive constraints such as working memory limitations are not taken into consideration. The purpose of this study was to investigate the conditions under which learners are better able to solve word problems when presented in different modes (Reading Only, Listening Only and Reading and Listening). One hundred and thirty-two students from a federal institution in the United Arab Emirates participated in the study. Results indicated that Listening Only was negatively related to performance regardless of language. The study also found that solving mathematical word problems in English and Arabic was positively related to performance only when a dual mode, both Reading and Listening, was used. When solving mathematical word problems, both language and mode of instruction matter. Educational implications are discussed.

ISSN

0305-5698

Publisher

Routledge

Volume

46

Issue

1

First Page

18

Last Page

38

Disciplines

Education

Keywords

cognitive load theory, language, Mathematics, word problems

Scopus ID

85053383406

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

Share

COinS