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ERIC Number: ED515633
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 101
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3984-1
Linguistic Factors Affecting Correct Responses to Word Problems in Mathematics
Vincent, Juliet
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Student underachievement on standardized math achievement tests is a major concern in American public schools. One of the speculated reasons for student underachievement is the inability to solve math word problems. Word problems are the most challenging problems in math because word problem solving requires the use of skills in language, reasoning, and computation. Because the focus of present curriculum and standardized achievement tests are on word problems, inability to solve these problems can hinder the achievement of students in math. Therefore, the purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to examine some of the linguistic factors affecting the correct responses to math word problems. The theoretical framework of the study was based on constructivism. The research questions examined the effect of linguistic factors such as length of the test item and nonstandard vocabulary on the correct responses to test items. The study involved analyzing the responses to the test items in the math section of the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) obtained from the 2008 PSAT score reports of 94 students of a suburban public high school using a related-samples t test and repeated measures analysis of variance. Analyses revealed that length of the test item and the presence of nonstandard vocabulary in the test item affected the correct responses to the test items significantly. The findings of the study may help math educators in their decision making efforts to improve instruction. The study recommends math educators and decision makers to incorporate activities into the curriculum that could integrate math with reading and develop vocabulary skills among students so that word problem solving does not become a major hindrance in the achievement of students in math. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test