The Relationship Between English Language and Mathematics Learning for Non-native Speakers

Funding year: 
1 year
Auckland UniServices
School sector
Project start date: 
January 2004
Project end date: 
January 2005
Principal investigator(s): 
Phillipa Neville-Barton
Research team members: 
Bill Barton
Research partners: 
Unitec, University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, Macleans College, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Tangaroa College, Wellington Girls’ College

Project Description

This project was undertaken to better understand the relationship between English language and mathematics learning for students for whom English is an additional language (EAL). We were interested in exploring the extent of any difficulties in learning mathematics attributable to low proficiency in English language, and also discovering particular language features that might cause problems.

Some literature that explores this issue at the elementary level exists, but there is little work at the senior secondary or tertiary levels. In New Zealand, many of the EAL students arrive in our education system in the final years of secondary school or directly into tertiary institutions.