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Title:Conjunction is more than just a grammatical resource: a comparative study of conjunctions in U.S. and Chinese mathematics lessons
Author(s):Wang, Shuai
Director of Research:Perry, Michelle
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Perry, Michelle
Doctoral Committee Member(s):González, Gloriana; Anderson, Carolyn; Chang, Hua-Hua
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):systemic functional linguistics
classroom discourse
Chinese and U.S. mathematics education
multi-level logistic regression
Abstract:Policy and research suggest that mathematical learning is supported when students speak clearly, coherently and logically. Conjunctions can be instrumental to support this in that they help connect different ideas and allow speakers to elaborate, extend, and enhance their mathematical statements. Borrowing from the systemic functional linguistics (SFL) perspective, conjunction analysis was conducted on 13 U.S. lessons and 17 Chinese lessons to examine differences in the frequency and use of conjunctions between U.S. and Chinese lessons. Findings indicated that students in the Chinese sample had a higher probability of producing conjunctions than their U.S. peers in both internal conjunctions, which connect large chunks of information, and external conjunctions, which connect small chunks of information. Both in the Chinese and U.S. sample, students had a higher likelihood to produce external conjunctions than internal conjunctions. In terms of logical relationships of conjunctions, Chinese students had a higher probability of producing conjunctions of comparison, consequence, and time logical relationships than U.S. students. Within the Chinese sample, consequence logical relationships were more frequently seen than other types of logical relationships, while within the U.S. sample, consequence and addition logical relationships occurred quite often. More importantly, across lessons and cultural samples, a strong negative relationship was found between teachers’ using internal conjunctions and students’ using internal conjunctions. The significance of these differences lies in their potential impact not only for constructing but also communicating mathematical ideas to others.
Issue Date:2016-11-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Shuai Wang
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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