Teaching statistics and academic language in culturally diverse classrooms

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dc.contributor.author Coutis, P. en_US
dc.contributor.author Wood, L. N en_US
dc.contributor.editor Vakalis I en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-11-09T02:47:21Z
dc.date.available 2009-11-09T02:47:21Z
dc.date.issued 2002 en_US
dc.identifier 2004003543 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Coutis, P. and Wood, L. 2002 'Teaching statistics and academic language in culturally diverse classrooms', 2nd International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics, John Wiley & Sons, University of Crete, Greece, pp. NA-NA. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0-471-46332-9 en_US
dc.identifier.other E1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/2162
dc.description.abstract The last decade has seen a substantial increase in the cultural and academic diversity of commencing tertiary education cohorts. The challenge for mathematics and statistics educators is the development of curriculum measures which address the language related difficulties of language minority students (Cocking & Mestre, 1988) and improve learning outcomes for all students. Our focus in this paper is on enhancing language and communication skills in culturally diverse undergraduate statistics cohorts. Most students have difficulty adjusting to the formal language requirements of academia. Non-English speaking background (NESB) students can have particular difficulty with the reading and assessment demands of Western universities if they are not adequately supported (e.g. Ballard & Clanchy, 1997). This is especially problematic when discrepancies between verbal and written expression and true intellectual ability result in assessment penalties. What is required are curriculum models which focus on what students do as opposed to deficit models which focus on who students are (Biggs, 1999). We describe curriculum development in two subjects designed to teach language skills in statistics. Both subjects require students to engage with academic language and to develop statistical discourse skills relevant to modern professionals in the quantitative sciences. Methods used to encourage this include explicitly teaching academic reading techniques, and group research projects that are peer assessed. The projects are designed to develop statistical concepts within the context of professional practice and to address key competency requirements of relevant professional associations. We will present data that suggest that NESB students have more difficulty than ESB students on "traditional" statistics assessment tasks and describe curricula interventions that assist those students to achieve their academic potential. The reaction of students to these developments has been very positive. The quality of the work is impressive and students improve both their statistical knowledge and their reading and writing skills. en_US
dc.publisher John Wiley & Sons en_US
dc.relation.isbasedon http://www.math.uoc.gr/~ictm2/ en_US
dc.title Teaching statistics and academic language in culturally diverse classrooms en_US
dc.parent Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics en_US
dc.journal.volume en_US
dc.journal.number en_US
dc.publocation New Jersey, USA en_US
dc.identifier.startpage NA en_US
dc.identifier.endpage NA en_US
dc.cauo.name Science en_US
dc.conference 2nd International Conference on the Teaching of Mathematics en_US
dc.conference.location University of Crete, Greece en_US


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