English Language Accuracy

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The present paper has investigated the effect of English language accuracy on Arab learners' mathematical comprehension. A sample of 120 students studying at Mutah University who use mathematics in the English form, e.g., physics, chemistry, computer science and all fields of economic studies, were chosen to carry out the present study. A questionnaire composed of 20 mathematical problems with different levels of difficulty was distributed on study sample. It was found that most students of those fields committed numerous mistakes due to the lack of English proficiency. The findings of the research showed that the level of English language accuracy has a great deal of impact on students' ability to solve mathematical problems. This research…show more content…
A significant amount of research has been carried out in the recent past and is still being done on the concept of understanding in general. A part of it is directed towards the understanding of mathematics in particular. Ernest (1987) traced the origin of this research to what he called the “monumental research work of Piaget and his co-workers” (p.10).
On one hand, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis theorized that the language habits of our community predispose certain choices of interpretation (Durkin & Shire, 1991). This simply means, according to Durkin & Shire (1991) that people think and perceive things in a way made possible by “the vocabulary and phraseology of their language” (p.12). Hence, “concepts not encoded in their language will not be accessible to them, or at least will prove very difficult”
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In one of simply five process standards, they state “Instructional programs from pre- kindergarten through grade 12 should enable all students to organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication, and communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others ...” (PSSM, 2000, p. 348). in spite of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ thrust to prepare students to commune mathematics clearly, it is quite a challenge because of the lack of oral usage by mathematical teachers. For example, majority of schools in Jordan begin English Language Teaching by the age of 10-11 and certainly this has major affects on learning how to communicate and comprehend mathematical equations presented in English. Whereas, in many private schools in Jordan mathematics is taught in both languages, English and Arabic, where there is a great emphasis placed on reading and listening skills, leaving aural-oral communication skills out of the picture. Moreover, according to Wood(2012), it is frequently assumed students learning mathematics will automatically pick up on and “absorb” the discourse used to explain it, and thus, be able to commune the mathematical concepts and ideas being learned. Though this may be the case for a few students; more often than not, this oblique fashion of teaching mathematical discourse leads to harmful consequences for
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