• An analysis of language difficulties in Algebra I (Common core) assessments versus integrated Algebra assessments

      Spoth, Amy (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-05)
      The purpose of this study was to determine if the difficult linguistic features of mathematics assessments correspond to teachers' perceptions of the assessments. A mixed methods research design was used in order to analyze the linguistic features of each exam and also gain insight to how teachers feel about the assessments. The assessments analyzed in this study were the June 2008 Integrated Algebra Examination and the 2015 Algebra I (Common Core) Assessment. In addition to comparing linguistic features of the two assessments, interviews were conducted. Two teachers were interviewed in one school district. The results of the data collection indicated that while the Algebra I (Common Core) Assessment contained more difficult linguistic features in fourteen of the sixteen categories, readability tests showed the Integrated Algebra Examination is written at a higher reading and grade level. The results of the interviews concluded that while students may struggle with linguistically difficult features in mathematics, there are strategies which may be incorporated into instruction in order to help these students overcome these challenges. Some of these strategies may include practice reading texts with difficult linguistic features in mathematics classrooms, explicitly teaching students how to separate mathematics and language, and collaborating with other teachers to determine what strategies may work best for your students. [from abstract]