ERIC Number: ED241278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Identifying Learning Handicaps of College Age Spanish-Speaking Bilingual Students Majoring in Technical Subjects. Bilingual Research Project.
Gerace, William J.; Mestre, Jose P.
Studies were conducted to identify critical barriers which could impede the progress of Hispanic undergraduates enrolled in science and engineering programs. The underlying theme in most studies was the interplay of language in various problem-solving tasks. Studies examined: (1) predictors of academic achievement (as measured by grade point average); (2) ability of students to translate word problems into appropriate mathematical equations, with an emphasis on identifying errors caused by misinterpretations of the problem statement as opposed to errors caused by mathematical deficiencies; (3) extent to which students' academic, motivational, and socioeconomic characteristics mediated their performance in various cognitive measures; and (4) the ability of students to solve logical reasoning problems containing multiple negations. Findings indicate that Hispanic students are underprepared in comparison to Anglo students. Areas in which Hispanics displayed underpreparation are algebraic skills, language skills, and problem-solving skills requiring substantial amounts of linguistic processing. Differences in socioeconomic status between Hispanics and Anglos were also found. In addition, findings indicate that various errors committed by the Hispanics in solving mathematics and logics problems are the result of semantic difficulties and not necessarily the result of difficulties in the content area. (JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Univ., Amherst. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.