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Mathematical Reading

July 15, 2017 General Neha Goel

Mathematics and reading: is there any connection? According to a research carried out in US in early 1990’s, Secada found sufficient evidence to conclude that "Language proficiency, no matter how it is measured, is related to mathematics achievement".

This is because language competency allows one to use it as an organiser of the knowledge and use it as the tool for reasoning. Vocabulary, number and symbol sense, as well as ability to read and comprehend word problems are important factors effecting achievement in mathematics.

Mathematical reading like general reading is a cognitive process that involves communicating, comprehending and learning from written material. In reading, student should be able to read and comprehend 95%-98% of the running words encountered without any previous practice.

Effective mathematical problem solving, they should be able to identify and clarify unknown words at the beginning of a lesson or unit. They should be pronounced, defined and made visible so students have the knowledge base to derive meaning from what they are attempting to decode and comprehend.

Reading difficult passages aloud may help students verbalised the printed word with correct pace, phrasing and expression. In addition, having students define new terms in their own words. It is a lack of experience with lack of ability. For example, what does the term percent means in your own words? What does term subtraction in your own words?

A sentence has a subject and a predicate connected by a verb. A mathematical expression consists of variables that can have multiple variables. Translating a mathematical expression into words could involve several sentences or even paragraphs.

According to Hollander, solving word problems can be enhanced when the reader attempts to increase his/her comprehension through translating the language of the text into meaningful vocabulary at their level. In short success with mathematics requires reading for both comprehension and computation skills.


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