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Bilingual children

Results of the study will help educators find the best way to teach mathematics in which bilingual children will be able to understand and apply outside the classroom. In general, results of the study will help in finding the best way to teach children who are limited English proficient in such a way that these children can understand and apply the lessons with other activities. Moreover, the study will help teachers train their students with confidence. In Chapter 2, a review of literature is provided.

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In this chapter, the definition of bilingualism is discussed. Researches undertaken on bilingual children’s cognitive development are provided. Then bilingual education is defined according to literature. Historical background on the evolution of bilingual education (1800s-1900s) is also provided. The author also discusses emotional, linguistic and academic issues bilingual education is concerned with. Mathematics education is also discussed in this chapter. Theories applied in mathematics teaching are discussed.

Problem solving is given importance in the discussion on mathematics education. Cognitive background information on addition, subtraction multiplication and division is also given which provides as basis for the word problems given to the participants of the study. Finally, in this chapter, researches done involving mathematics and bilingualism are provided. Chapter 3 provides the theoretical framework used in the study. The first part discusses Pask’s Conversation Theory and the second part discussed Landa’s Algo-Heuristic Theory.

Chapter 4 provides the methodology used for obtaining the results needed. This section explains the research design the study used. Sample, sample setting, procedure and data collection and analysis are discussed. The sample and sample setting for the study is discussed in the first part. In the second part, the author explained the procedures done from the pre-assessment stage to the classroom setting to the final assessment stage. The third part discussed how the data was collected and analyzed. In Chapter 5, results obtained from the experiment are discussed.

The students’ scores obtained in the pre-assessment, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and final assessment examinations are shown in the first part. In the second part, results from the interview are discussed. Finally, Chapter 6 concludes the paper. The first part summarized the main findings discussed in Chapter 5. The second part gives recommendations for the teachers on how to teach mathematics for understanding to bilingual students. The third part provides limitations for the study as well as recommendations for future researches that can be carried on from this study.

Bilingualism has no clear-cut definition yet but Shenker (no date) provided a definition in terms of young children. According to Shenker (no date), bilingual children are “are those… who speak/have been spoken to in two (or more) languages in the home since birth and who are spoken to in only one or both of those two languages at school. ” (Shenker, no date). These children may also be spoken in one language at home but acquired (or is exposed to) a second-language when they start attending school. Bilingual children were perceived to have less advantageous situations than monolingual children.

This perception was radically changed in 1962 by Peal and Lambert. Peal and Lambert (1962) conducted a research regarding the premise that bilingualism causes retardation. Their study reached the conclusion that experiences from two cultures provide bilingual children with greater benefits than that experienced by monolinguals such as increased mental dexterity and superior ability to think abstractly (Peal & Lambert, 1962). Other researches prove that bilingual children have superior performances than their monolingual counterparts.

Researches show an association between bilingualism and greater cognitive flexibility and awareness of language (Cummins & Culutsan, 1974; Diaz, 1983; Hakuta & Diaz, 1984). Moreover, bilingual children were proven to have more effective controlled processes. Although their study was conducted among adults only, they generally concluded “that controlled processing is carried out more effectively by bilinguals and that bilingualism helps to offset age-related losses in certain executive processes” (Bialystok, Klein, Craik, & Viswanathan, 2004).


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