Disentangling the language effect in South African schools: Measuring the impact of ‘language of assessment’ in Grade 3 literacy and numeracy

Author: Nicholas Spaull A great majority of South African students are taught in a language that, for them, is a second or third language. Does this explain the high levels of underperformance in reading and mathematics? This study is based on two tests that were given to 3 402 Grade 3 students from all 11 language groups. The tests were … Read More

Mathematical cognition: Understanding how children acquire mathematical knowledge and skills

Author: Kakoma Luneta Mathematics is mostly an abstract subject. In addition, it involves having to learn arithmetic and numerical rules that are often difficult for learners. In order to assist learners, educators need to understand mathematical cognition.  Mathematic cognition can be described as a mental activity that is complex; and is responsible for accomplishments such as identification of relevant quantities, … Read More

Early numeracy performance of South African school beginners

Authors: Pirjo Aunio, Riika Mononen, Lara Ragpot and Minna Törmänen What kind of mathematical skills do children have when they enter school? It is important to find out, because those who lack numeracy skills at an early stage are known to lag behind throughout higher education. The main aim of this study was to investigate the early numeracy performance of … Read More

Counting skills intervention for low-performing first graders

Authors: Riikka Mononen and Pirjo Aunio Research has shown that learners with a low score in early mathematical skills, such as counting skills, will continue to perform poorly in mathematics at the higher grades – unless they receive the correct support. In addition, a low-performing level in mathematics also affects performance in other learning areas, including language acquisition, inductive reasoning … Read More