Better in both? bilingual intervention in an Australian school context

Hemsley, Gayle, Holm, Alison and Dodd, Barbara (2014) Better in both? bilingual intervention in an Australian school context. Australian Journal of Education, 58 2: 139-152. doi:10.1177/0004944114530064

Author Hemsley, Gayle
Holm, Alison
Dodd, Barbara
Title Better in both? bilingual intervention in an Australian school context
Journal name Australian Journal of Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2050-5884
Publication date 2014-08
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0004944114530064
Open Access Status
Volume 58
Issue 2
Start page 139
End page 152
Total pages 14
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher SAGE Publications
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract This study evaluated a bilingual intervention in the key learning area of mathematics. Nine typically developing Samoan-English students received math lessons in both Samoan and English. A control group of Samoan-English students received all lessons in English. The material covered and the amount of instruction was the same for each group. The only difference was in the language of instruction. Two assessments measured progress in early mathematical skills and concept development. Initial data from each test in isolation indicated no additional benefit for students who received bilingual intervention. Further analysis revealed two interesting patterns of learning between tests. First, all students more easily acquired rote mathematical skills and knowledge than conceptual knowledge and its associated vocabulary. Second, there were differences in patterns of learning between groups. The control group acquired mathematical skills but made limited progress acquiring conceptual knowledge. In contrast, the intervention group demonstrated more balanced learning: acquisition of core math skills was matched by gains in conceptual development. We propose that bilingual intervention facilitated English word learning, producing improved learning of core skills linked to underlying conceptual knowledge.
Keyword Bilingualism
Bilingual education
Mathematical concepts
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2015 Collection
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