Associations between early numeracy and mathematics-specific vocabulary

South African Journal of Childhood Education

Field Value
Title Associations between early numeracy and mathematics-specific vocabulary
Creator Bezuidenhout, Hanrie S.
Subject Early childhood development; developmental psychology; Education early numeracy; mathematics-specific vocabulary; early reading; foundation phase; pedagogical content knowledge; social grants; hierarchical number concept development
Description Background: Early numeracy development is supported by linguistic features such as mathematics-specific vocabulary. Researchers have established a link between the amount and quality of children’s exposure to mathematics-specific vocabulary and their numeracy learning. Studies have also shown that children from low socio-economic status are less exposed to mathematics-specific vocabulary and also tend to underperform on mathematics assessments. South African children consistently perform poorly on local and international mathematics assessments.Aim: To describe associations between numeracy and mathematics-specific vocabulary of the sample who participated in the study.Setting: Participants in this study are from Quintile 1 schools and receive social grants from the South African government.Method: 133 Grade 1 and 2 children completed assessments for (1) early numeracy (MARKO-D SA), (2) mathematics-specific vocabulary (MMLT) and (3) early reading (EGRA). Correlation analyses were conducted to investigate associations between variables and developmental continuity of number concept development and reading skills were described.Results: An association between numeracy and mathematics-specific vocabulary was found. The data confirm that number concepts and reading skills develop hierarchically. Although English-speaking children performed better on the numeracy assessment, isiZulu and Sesotho speakers performed better on the reading test.Conclusion: Mathematics-specific vocabulary is a key tool for early number concept development, also in isiZulu and Sesotho. Teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) should include how number concept development intersects with mathematics-specific vocabulary. Explicit teaching of mathematics-specific vocabulary should be included in the Foundation Phase curriculum.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (NRF. Grant number 125648), South Africa, towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at, are those of the authors and are not necessarily attributed
Date 2022-09-19
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Correlational analyses
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1191
Source South African Journal of Childhood Education; Vol 12, No 1 (2022); 9 pages 2223-7682 2223-7674
Language eng
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Coverage — — Grade 1 and 2; non-fee paying; Gauteng; Enlgish, isiZulu and Sesotho speaking children
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Hanrie S. Bezuidenhout