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Late-arrived immigrants in school and performance in algebra
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5609-0752
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education / [ed] Anke M. Lindmeier, Aiso Heinze, International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education , 2013, Vol. 5, p. 143-143Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper reports from a study on immigrant and native students tested in algebra asone of several topics in school mathematics. In general immigrant students performlower the later they have immigrated (Böhlmark, 2008). Students often find workingwith algebra difficult and Kieran (1992) noted that new-beginners in algebra oftenread algebraic expressions from left to right and might ignore the brackets.In this study 358 school year 9 students in six Swedish schools, with an over averagepercentage of immigrants, took a test. Several test problems were formulated so thatthey were likely to not cause too much of language obstacles for second languagelearners. In this report the test problem “a = 2, b = 4. What is a(b+2)+b?” is in focus.This problem was characterized in Duval’s (2006) semiotic registers as mainly“computations” and scarcely dependent on natural language.An important result is that the students who immigrated during school years 8 – 9performed better than the native students and much better than students whoimmigrated during school years 1 – 7. Most wrong solutions among all studentcategories were due to misuse of the distributive law in line with Kieran (1992).There were few arithmetic errors.In this on-going research project one conclusion is that there seems to be a need tosee early and late immigrants as having different challenges in being second languagelearners. The former have difficulties in following some advanced topics inmathematics teaching and the latter have difficulties in understanding some testquestions. A second conclusion is that there is a need in research to look at specifictopics in mathematics, especially advanced compulsory school mathematics such asnegative numbers and algebra, for these student categories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education , 2013. Vol. 5, p. 143-143
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Didactics
Research subject
Mathematics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139224OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139224DiVA, id: diva2:1071648
Conference
37th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany, July 28 - August 2, 2013
Available from: 2017-02-06 Created: 2017-02-06 Last updated: 2017-02-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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