Education - Mathematics

Aiken, Jr., Lewis R.
April 1973
Journal of Learning Disabilities;Apr1973, Vol. 6 Issue 4, p226
Academic Journal
This article examines language factors in learning mathematics. Linguistic abilities affect performance in mathematics, as mathematics itself is a specialized language. It is not difficult to understand how reading ability could affect performance on verbal arithmetic problems, and supporting data are plentiful. Investigations, the majority of which involved children in the intermediate grades, yielded correlations between reading ability and mathematics achievement ranging between .40 and .86. In addition to being related to each other, scores on tests of mathematical and verbal abilities have also been shown to correlate with general intelligence. Underlying many of these studies is the recognition that mathematical ability is not a unitary concept. Inspection of the data reveals that the correlation between general intelligence and mathematical ability is appreciably reduced when reading ability or scores on other linguistic tests are partialed out. This result might lead one to argue that the pivotal variable is not general intelligence but rather reading ability.


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