Language learning and mathematical learning: is there a multilingual benefit for both?

Abstract : Multilingual speakers are frequently argued to show an advantage when learning additional languages. Does the same advantage arise when the same multilinguals are learning Maths? This is the core question our study has addressed. French L1 students with two additional non-native languages at low to intermediate proficiency level (Group 1; n=402) were compared with French students who had knowledge of four or more languages (Group 2; n=193). The first group represents the typical French student with foreign languages studied in a formal education context, while the second group includes all those students who speak different languages in the home and are mostly of immigrant origin. Due to this difference, socioeconomic status was fully controlled. All students were given a past Pisa test for Maths (Pisa 2012) and some extracts from the A2 and B1 Cambridge tests for English Reading. Results at first show that Group 1 performs significantly better than Group 2 in both Maths and English. Additional analyses that control for SES then show differences in performance in Maths but not in English. This suggests that an increase in number of languages leads to improved performance in language learning while the effect is not so clear-cut in mathematical learning.
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Conference papers
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https://hal-univ-tlse2.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01915718
Contributor : Rebecca Dahm <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 11:47:48 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 1:34:52 AM

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Rebecca Dahm, Gessica de Angelis. Language learning and mathematical learning: is there a multilingual benefit for both?. 10th International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism, International Associatoin of Multilingualism, Sep 2016, Vienna, Austria. ⟨hal-01915718⟩

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