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Relationships between mathematics achievement and various English language proficiencies

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The article suggests that correlational studies between English language proficiency and success in mathematics have not been specific. English is composed of many proficiencies which are not always closely related. The article examines correlations between mathematics success and various English language skills, including vocabulary, reading comprehension, reading speed, listening, structure, and expression. Tests of these skills were given to incoming science students at the National University of Lesotho in both 1978 and 1979, and the results were compared with the students' success in first-year mathematics. In all cases, correlations were low. But correlations in 1978 were higher than in 1979. Attempts are made to explain these differences. The possibility is explored that speakers of different languages may learn mathematics (in English) in various ways. Finally, implications for the teaching of Use of English courses are discussed.

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Zepp, R.A. Relationships between mathematics achievement and various English language proficiencies. Educ Stud Math 12, 59–70 (1981).

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