Empirical evidence exists that enhancing students’ language can promote the mathematics learning of multilingual students at risk, whereas other target groups (e.g., monolingual students, successful students, both with diverse academic language proficiency) have hardly been considered. This cluster-randomized controlled trial (N = 589) investigates differential effects for these extended target groups, comparing two language-responsive interventions (with or without vocabulary work) and a control group. The regression analysis reveals that all students significantly deepened their conceptual understanding in both interventions. Unlike what was anticipated, multilingual students’ growth of conceptual understanding had no significant additional benefit from integrated vocabulary work. These findings call for promoting language-responsive mathematics instruction for all students and for using a discursive rather than a vocabulary focus.

Notes

The project MESUT 2 (Developing Conceptual Understanding by Language Support: Studying Differential Conditions of Success in the Supply-Use Model) is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG Grants No. PR 662/14-2 to S. Prediger and ER 880/1-2 to K. Erath). The authors thank Lena Wessel for her collaboration in the preceding project, MESUT 1, from which we share some data.

Contributor Notes

Susanne Prediger, IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Berlin, Germany and TU Dortmund University, 44221 Dortmund, Germany; prediger@math.tu-dortmund.de

Kirstin Erath, Institute for Mathematics, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 5, 06099 Halle, Germany; kirstin.erath@mathematik.uni-halle.de

Henrike Weinert, Faculty of Statistics, TU Dortmund University, 44221 Dortmund, Germany; henrike.weinert@tu-dortmund.de

Kim Quabeck, Institute for Development and Research in Mathematics Education, TU Dortmund University, 44221 Dortmund, Germany; Kim.Quabeck@math.tu-dortmund.de

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