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Developing prerequisites for maths learning, focusing on vocabulary, of immigrants' children

Barbara Sotenšek (2019) Developing prerequisites for maths learning, focusing on vocabulary, of immigrants' children. MSc thesis.

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    Descendants of immigrants, also known as second or third generation immigrants, are a relatively large minority in an educational system. Their knowledge of the Slovenian language is very diverse. They are not entitled to any kind of systematic help at any stage of educational system, even though school success and realizing one’s own potential play a very important role in everyone's live. Lack of specific academic vocabulary, including math vocabulary, is often overlooked. This could obstruct their school knowledge acquisition, achieving the adequate level of math literacy and consequentially the ability to use math in everyday life. Early formal and informal children’s experiences with numbers and values, motivation for learning, positive attitude towards math, properly developed executive functions, motor skills, visual perception, visual-motor integration, learning and math language with corresponding vocabulary are very important parts in math learning and transferring math knowledge into everyday use. Developing appropriate prerequisites for learning with focus on vocabulary is particularly important for immigrants’ children. Math language is more demanding, abstract and specific than the social language. In kindergarten and school basic math vocabulary is rarely systematically represented. For immigrants’ children context learning is not enough. They need additional systematic teaching with many repetitions, incorporation of play, direct and model teaching, pictures, motor activities, collaborative learning, writing ... Early interventions in kindergarten could improve children’s readiness for math learning in school and enable better achievements. Regular and ongoing collaboration with parents is crucial for children’s effective development. The purpose of the research was to form, test and evaluate math vocabulary training for kindergarten children in 25 meetings. It was based on play, pictures, motor activities, repetition, direct and systematic learning. It included four preschool children of second or third generation of immigrants with average or above the average overall functioning, which was assessed by their preschool teachers, and troubles with expressing their knowledge more or less because of language. Training activities were designed in accordance with the expectations about children’s vocabulary knowledge in the beginning of the elementary school, their math vocabulary background and their interests. Vocabulary knowledge before the training varies greatly between areas and also among the children. They know sufficiently a little bit more than a half of all tested words. The results, based on the comparison of initial and final knowledge, shows the training efficacy. The quantity and quality of math vocabulary in every child has been improved. Parents and preschool teachers are satisfied with the training and the results. In their opinion, activities were appropriate considering children’s stage of development and their needs. Children confirm that the training included attractive and interesting activities.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: second and third generation immigrants, preschool children, math vocabulary, training
    Number of Pages: 124
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12609609
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6002
    Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 13:05
    Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 13:05
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6002

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