February 25, 2011

Studies Find Language Is Key to Learning Math: Comparison of Formals Sign Languages and Homesign

Studies Find Language Is Key to Learning Math
By Sarah D. Sparks
February 17, 2011

New research shows a lack of language skills can hamstring a student’s ability to understand the most fundamental concepts in mathematics.

A series of studies led by Susan Goldin-Meadow, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago, found that profoundly deaf adults in Nicaragua who had not learned a formal sign language could not accurately describe or understand numbers greater than three. While hearing adults and those who used formal sign language easily counted and distinguished groups of objects, those who used only self-created “homesigning” gestures could not consistently extend the proper number of fingers to count more than three objects at a time, nor could they match the number of objects in one set to those in another set.

Read the full article at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/02/17/21math.h30.html?tkn=RMVFed6tRXiQd1a8OyriYPqFy8qmkJgPYe0F&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

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