english Language Learners in Introductory Statistics: Lessons Learned from an Exploratory Case Study of

TWO Pre-service Teachers

 

LAWRENCE M. LESSER

The University of Texas at El Paso

Lesser@utep.edu

 

MATTHEW S. WINSOR

Illinois State University

mwinsor@ilstu.edu

 

ABSTRACT

 

Despite the rapidly growing population of English language learners in U.S. colleges and schools, very little research has focused on understanding the challenges of English language learners specifically in statistics education. At a university near the United States-México border, the authors conducted an exploratory qualitative case study of issues of language in learning statistics for pre-service teachers whose first (and stronger) language is Spanish. The two strongest findings that emerged from cross-case analysis of the interviews were the importance of the role of context (the setting in which information is communicated) and the confusion among registers (subsets of language). This paper overviews and synthesizes relevant literature and offers resources and recommendations for teaching and future research.

 

Keywords: Statistics education research; Language; Spanish; Teacher education

 

 

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Statistics Education Research Journal, 8(2), 5-32, http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/serj

Ó International Association for Statistical Education (IASE/ISI), November, 2009

 

 

 

 

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LAWRENCE M. LESSER

The University of Texas at El Paso

Department of Mathematical Sciences

500 W. University Avenue

El Paso, TX 79968-0514, USA