Bokstavligt, bildligt och symboliskt i skolans matematik – en studie om ämnesspråk i TIMSS
Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of mathematical subject language regarding three semiotic resources, written language, images and mathematical symbols. The theses also investigates high- and low-performingstudents encounter with mathematical subject language.Based on previous research on language and from a theoretical foundation based on systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and social semiotics, four meaning dimensions – packing, precision, personification and presentation – were identified as central in academic language in general and in mathematical subject language. A didactically based reception theoretical perspective has been used for an analysis of high and low achieving students' encounter with the mathematical subject language.The thesis comprises three studies each examining the mathematical subject language in TIMSS 2011 from various angles. The analyzes were conducted on four content areas algebra, statistics, geometry and arithmetic in the Swedish version of the international study Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2011 (TIMSS).In a summary, the results showed that the mathematical subject language was used in different ways in the four content areas in TIMSS where colloquial and subject-specific forms of languages had different roles and were expressed in varying degrees by the written language, images and mathematical symbols. Thus each content area was expressed by its own register which means that is not sufficient to talk about mathematical subject language as one single language.The result shows that two forms of language, subject specific and everyday language were used parallel in the TIMSS material. The subject specific forms were most salient in algebra and geometry and the more everyday forms of language were more common in statistics and arithmetic.The results from the correlation analyses indicated that fewer students managed the encounter with tasks in algebra and geometry when they were expressed by subject specific language. In contrast, the results indicated that students were able handle the encounter with the more colloquial expressions of the content areas statistics and arithmetic.
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