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postgraduate thesis: Genre analysis of word problems in junior secondary school mathematics textbooks for ESL learners in Hong Kong

TitleGenre analysis of word problems in junior secondary school mathematics textbooks for ESL learners in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Li, W. E. [李文瑤]. (2012). Genre analysis of word problems in junior secondary school mathematics textbooks for ESL learners in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5541038
AbstractLearning Mathematics in English is proved to have posed considerable challenges for many Hong Kong students who enroll in an EMI (English as the medium of instruction) curriculum. Solving Math word problems in English, still less, poses even greater challenges due to the high language demand involved for ESL students to understand the verbal text and conduct problem solving. Studies have shown that students generally perform worse in solving Math word problems than in solving problems with purely mathematical form. And this difficulty is even more pronounced for English learners. To help Hong Kong ESL students enhance their Math problem-solving skill in English, the current study conducts a genre analysis of the Math word problems chosen from four EMI mathematics textbooks most widely used in junior secondary classrooms. The analysis is a corpus-based one consisting of a linguistic analysis of the language moves and linguistic features in verbal text and a visual analysis of the Math visual presentations as to how they work with verbal text in meaning making. In the study, the linguistic analysis identifies 6 language moves and move patterns commonly used in the word problems, with move-specific linguistic features also examined to help students better distinguish each move. Since linguistic features vary greatly among content areas, linguistic features associated with each content area are also examined to cater to content-based difference. On the other hand, the visual analysis identifies 5 types of visual presentations in the word problems examined. By quantitatively calculating the number of each visual type, the study identifies the dominant visual type(s) in different content areas and further investigates each visual type’s visual-linguistic relationship according to the extent to which these visual take on the role of verbal text in meaning making. With the above findings of the linguistic and visual analysis of Math word problems, the study generates important pedagogical implication for the EMI Math learning and teaching in the junior secondary context and contributes to the development of language across curriculum in Hong Kong schools. Limitations of the study are discussed at the end of dissertation, followed by a list of implications for future research.
DegreeMaster of Education
SubjectMathematics - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong - Textbooks
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/212564

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLi, Wenyao, Effie-
dc.contributor.author李文瑤-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-22T23:10:46Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-22T23:10:46Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationLi, W. E. [李文瑤]. (2012). Genre analysis of word problems in junior secondary school mathematics textbooks for ESL learners in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5541038-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/212564-
dc.description.abstractLearning Mathematics in English is proved to have posed considerable challenges for many Hong Kong students who enroll in an EMI (English as the medium of instruction) curriculum. Solving Math word problems in English, still less, poses even greater challenges due to the high language demand involved for ESL students to understand the verbal text and conduct problem solving. Studies have shown that students generally perform worse in solving Math word problems than in solving problems with purely mathematical form. And this difficulty is even more pronounced for English learners. To help Hong Kong ESL students enhance their Math problem-solving skill in English, the current study conducts a genre analysis of the Math word problems chosen from four EMI mathematics textbooks most widely used in junior secondary classrooms. The analysis is a corpus-based one consisting of a linguistic analysis of the language moves and linguistic features in verbal text and a visual analysis of the Math visual presentations as to how they work with verbal text in meaning making. In the study, the linguistic analysis identifies 6 language moves and move patterns commonly used in the word problems, with move-specific linguistic features also examined to help students better distinguish each move. Since linguistic features vary greatly among content areas, linguistic features associated with each content area are also examined to cater to content-based difference. On the other hand, the visual analysis identifies 5 types of visual presentations in the word problems examined. By quantitatively calculating the number of each visual type, the study identifies the dominant visual type(s) in different content areas and further investigates each visual type’s visual-linguistic relationship according to the extent to which these visual take on the role of verbal text in meaning making. With the above findings of the linguistic and visual analysis of Math word problems, the study generates important pedagogical implication for the EMI Math learning and teaching in the junior secondary context and contributes to the development of language across curriculum in Hong Kong schools. Limitations of the study are discussed at the end of dissertation, followed by a list of implications for future research.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshMathematics - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China - Hong Kong - Textbooks-
dc.titleGenre analysis of word problems in junior secondary school mathematics textbooks for ESL learners in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5541038-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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