ERIC Number: EJ868320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
Lexical Ambiguity in Statistics: What Do Students Know about the Words Association, Average, Confidence, Random and Spread?
Kaplan, Jennifer J.; Fisher, Diane G.; Rogness, Neal T.
Journal of Statistics Education, v17 n3 Nov 2009
Language plays a crucial role in the classroom. The use of specialized language in a domain can cause a subject to seem more difficult to students than it actually is. When words that are part of everyday English are used differently in a domain, these words are said to have lexical ambiguity. Studies in other fields, such as mathematics and chemistry education suggest that in order to help students learn vocabulary instructors should exploit the lexical ambiguity of the words. The study presented here is a pilot study that is the first in a sequence of studies designed to understand the effects of and develop techniques for exploiting lexical ambiguities in the statistic classroom. In particular, this paper describes the meanings most commonly used by students entering an undergraduate statistics course of five statistical terms. (Contains 7 tables and 2 figures.)
Descriptors: Figurative Language, Statistics, Language Role, Language Usage, Vocabulary Development, Teaching Methods, Undergraduate Study, Definitions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A