# Language literacy impacts math literacy Brett Reynolds, Jean Choi, Rebecca Milburn Contact:

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Language literacy impacts math literacy Brett Reynolds, Jean Choi, Rebecca Milburn Contact: brett.reynolds@humber.ca

From an article in College Reading 3 “May 26, 2002—Affluence is now taking its toll on children’s health, with a new study in Delhi indicating that every 15 th school-going child in the high- or high- middle income group is obese.”  1 ÷ 15 = 6.67% “The research, involving 870 children, was carried out in a public school of Delhi catering to the affluent segment of the population. It reported an overall prevalence of obesity as 7.4%.”  1 ÷ 14 = 7.14%  1 ÷ 13 = 7.70%  7.4% of 870 = 64 students So, is it 1/15 (6.67%), or is it 7.4%?

From an article in College Reading 3 “An earlier study in 1990 had reported an almost similar prevalence of obesity.” So is there a change (“Affluence is now taking its toll”) or not?

From an article in College Reading 3 “Only 19 percent of the school children were found to be engaged in outdoor activities in our study, while 90 percent of the obese children did not engage in any outdoor activity at all.”  20% of non-obese students were engaged in outdoor activities, compared to 10% of obese students.  In other words, if the obese students were like the others, we would expect about 12 obese children in this group to be engaged in outdoor activities, but only 6 were. So, there does seem to be a difference, but which way is the causality?

Visually

From an article in College Reading 3 Obesity prevalence in youths aged 12-17 has increased dramatically from 5% to 13% in boys between 1966-70 and 1988-91 in the USA.

From an article in College Reading 3 Obesity prevalence in youths aged 12-17 has increased dramatically from 5% to 13% in boys between 1966-70 and 1988-91 in the USA.

From an article in College Reading 3 In the late 60s, boys and girls experienced the same obesity rate, but since then obesity in girls rose by only 4 percentage points.  It was 5% and now it’s 9%. That’s an increase of 80%.

From an article in College Reading 3 “In Thailand the prevalence of obesity in 5-to-12-year- old children rose 28% to 15.6% in just two years.”  15.6 ÷ 1.28 = 12.2, so the start level was 12.2%  15.6 - 12.2 = 3.4, so the increase was 3.4 percentage points.

How to address math in EAP classes Share your ideas: 1.Stand 2.Find a small group 3.Discuss 4.Feel free to move groups at any time 5.When you’re sick of this sit down 6.When more than half of the group is sitting, I’ll move on.

How to address math in EAP classes Brush up your math Draw attention to numerical elements in readings Make sure the numbers follow through correctly 6.67% or 7.4% Ask students to transform the math Calculate 1/15 = 6.67% 7.4% of 870 students is 64 students (.074 × 870 = 64) Draw graphs Paraphrase/rewrite 20% of non-obese students were engaged in outdoor activities, compared to 10% of obese students.

Collaborating with math teachers 1.Shared values and goals. Team members create a focus for the team, with the goal of improving student learning. 2.Collective responsibility. Team members contribute their expertise and are held accountable for improved student learning. 3.Authentic assessment. Team members use student work and other assessments to evaluate student learning and teaching effectiveness in a timely manner.

Collaborating with math teachers 4.Self-directed reﬂection. The team engages in a cycle of inquiry that enables members to evaluate their progress in setting, meeting, and evaluating goals. 5.Stable settings. The team designates a time and place to meet regularly. 6.Strong leadership support. School personnel are actively involved in leadership roles to support the team’s efforts. -Carroll, Fulton & Doerr (2010)

Collaborating with math teachers 1.Staffing policies 1.Providing structured, stable time and space for teacher teamwork 2.Providing embedded professional development time 3.Creating incentives that valued collaboration 4.Creating new roles for teachers as trained collaboration facilitators 2.Policies that engage principals and other school leaders 3.Policies that promote and support the use of online professional networking tools -Fulton & Britton (2011)

Collaborating with math teachers Share your ideas

Sample Questions ____________________________________________________ Language ContextExample Item ____________________________________________________ PrepositionsPierre’s bill for 2008 was \$879. How much did he pay in 2009, if it increased by \$190? TerminologyChange 3.55 to an equivalent fraction NegationWhich of the following does not equal 35% of X? Atypical Sentence 32 is 40 percent of what number? Structure Minimal LanguageSolve 12 ¾ ÷ 3 ½

What language issues impinge on math results? Share your ideas

Methodology 60 students enrolled in mathematics courses at Humber 28 English Language Learners 32 Non – English Language Learners Math items in multiple-choice format, within 5 language contexts

Results

How to address language in math classes Math teachers should become aware of language traps Avoid them Point them out (draw attention to language elements) Provide glossaries Monolingual Bilingual Transform (teachers and students) Calculate Draw graphs Rewrite

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