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Browsing by Subject "S2-opetus"

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  • Rinne, Suvi (2021)
    Goals of the study. Previous studies have shown that the main explanatory reason for immigrant students’ low scores in learning comparison tests such as PISA 2012 is their lack of language skills. Because of the universal symbol language and the strong affective reactions attached to learning mathematics, math has a disparate position as a school subject. The core meaning of this study is to find out if the universal symbol language could have an empowering effect on the self-efficacy of immigrant students suffering from a language barrier in elementary school, with the motive of enabling immigrants to experience self-efficacy in learning, even if they have not developed fluent Finnish speaking skills yet. Methods. The research method in this study was qualitative, theme-centered interview method, and was carried out by interviewing ten immigrant students that study Finnish as a second language in elementary schools in the Helsinki area. The research question was to determine qualitative and comparable characteristics of their self-efficacy in learning mathematics. The data was collected as audio files of the interview sessions and as pictures of the math exercises that the subjects showed as examples. The data was first transcribed and then analysed with thematic analysis. Results and conclusions. Seven of the interviewed subjects preferred math exercises that they also knew how to do. These exercises were more arithmetic, with no verbal assignments or features. The less liked and difficult exercises had fractions and verbal content that often included working with measurement units in them. Overall, the math assignments with textual features were seen as difficult. A high motivation to learn appeared as subjects’ will to improve their grades and as holding education in high value. In a few cases understanding math was seen as more comprehensible than understanding language and reading. These results reinforce previous research results on affective area, self-efficacy in mathematics learning, and the studies explaining poor learning outcomes of the immigrant students with language skill factors.