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ERIC Number: EJ1134107
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0144-3410
"Four and Twenty Blackbirds": How Transcoding Ability Mediates the Relationship between Visuospatial Working Memory and Math in a Language with Inversion
van der Ven, Sanne H. G.; Klaiber, Jonathan D.; van der Maas, Han L. J.
Educational Psychology, v37 n4 p487-505 2017
Writing down spoken number words (transcoding) is an ability that is predictive of math performance and related to working memory ability. We analysed these relationships in a large sample of over 25,000 children, from kindergarten to the end of primary school, who solved transcoding items with a computer adaptive system. Furthermore, we investigated the nature of transcoding difficulty of over 300 two- and three-digit numbers. All data come from a Dutch sample, meaning that transcoding is complicated by decade-unit inversion: 24 is pronounced as "four-and-twenty." Omission to invert the digits of a spoken number when writing it down is an inversion error: the incidence of these declined but did not disappear in later elementary school. Furthermore, transcoding ability mediated the relationship between visuospatial working memory and mathematics performance, a strong effect that declined with age. Inversion error making mediated this same relationship in an inverted U-shaped curve, peaking around grade 2 (8 years old). At the item level, structural characteristics related to inversion and irregular pronunciation of units and decades explained a large part of the variance in item difficulty. We conclude that number transcoding is an important ability to develop mathematical proficiency and discuss the implications of these findings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A