NOMAD 20(1), 2015

Skapad: 2015-03-04. Ändrad: 2015-03-04  

NOMAD 20(1), 2015

Uncommon vocabulary in mathematical tasks in relation to demand of reading ability and solution frequency

Anneli Dyrvold, Ewa Bergqvist and Magnus Österholm

Abstract

This study reports on the relation between commonness of the vocabulary used in mathematics tasks and aspects of students’ reading and solving of the tasks. The vocabulary in PISA tasks is analyzed according to how common the words are in a mathematical and an everyday context. The study examines correlations between different aspects of task difficulty and the presence of different types of uncommon vocabulary. The results show that the amount of words that are uncommon in both contexts are most important in relation to the reading and solving of the tasks. These words are not connected to the solution frequency of the task but to the demand of reading ability when solving the task.

Anneli Dyrvold

This study reports on the relation between commonness of the vocabulary used in mathematics tasks and aspects of students’ reading and solving of the tasks. The vocabulary in PISA tasks is analyzed according to how common the words are in a mathematical and an everyday context. The study examines correlations between different aspects of task difficulty and the presence of different types of uncommon vocabulary. The results show that the amount of words that are uncommon in both contexts are most important in relation to the reading and solving of the tasks. These words are not connected to the solution frequency of the task but to the demand of reading ability when solving the task.

Ewa Bergqvist

Ewa Bergqvist is an assistant professor in mathematics education at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education at Umeå University. She is a member of Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC) and teaches mathematics education for pre-service mathematics teachers. Her research focuses mainly on aspects of reasoning and language in upper secondary and university level mathematics.

Magnus Österholm

Magnus Österholm is a docent (associate professor) in mathematics education and works at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education at Umeå University. He is also a member of Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC). His research interests deal primarily with mathematics education at the upper secondary and university levels, where cognitive and metacognitive perspectives are of special interest, together with studying language and communication in the learning and teaching of mathematics.