Language problems in mathematics studies Is there a link between difficulty solving mathematical verbal problems and reading deficiency among 7th graders?
Keywords:verbal problems in Mathematics, reading deficiency, problems’ solving pressure, mathematical solving complexity
The aim of this study was to find out whether or not there is a connection between an observed difficulty in solving verbal mathematical verbal problems and reading deficiency, specifically among 7th grade students in Israeli Arab schools.
This study is a combination of a preliminary test to identify students who have difficulty in solving verbal mathematical verbal problems and a follow-up qualitative study of the students identified as having such difficulties, based on personal interviews.
The preliminary test included ninety 7th grade students from three schools in northern Israel, 30 from each school. The participants were given easy leveled verbal mathematical verbal problems. The qualitative study had been performed with 10 out of the 32 students that failed the preliminary test (scored less than 60).
The main findings indicate a connection between students’ reading ability and the ability to solve verbal mathematic problems. In the conducted preliminary test, some of those failing to solve verbal mathematical problems were found to have reading difficulties.
It was also found that compared to students with relative high academic achievements, most students with lower achievements, report low interest in learning and approach tests (in mathematics and other subjects), with low faith in their ability to succeed.