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See detailSolving arithmetic problems in first and second language: Does the language context matter?
Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Schiltz, Christine UL; Brunner, Martin et al

in Learning and instruction (2016)

Learning mathematics in a second language is a challenge for many learners. The purpose of the study was to provide new insights into the role of the language context in mathematic learning and more ... [more ▼]

Learning mathematics in a second language is a challenge for many learners. The purpose of the study was to provide new insights into the role of the language context in mathematic learning and more particularly arithmetic problem solving. We investigated this question in a GermaneFrench bilingual educational setting in Luxembourg. Participants with increasing bilingual proficiency levels were invited to solve additions in both their first and second instruction languages: German and French. Arithmetic problems were presented in two different conditions: preceded by a semantic judgment or without additional language context. In the French session we observed that additions were systematically performed faster in the condition with an additional language context. In contrast no effect of the context was observed in the German session. In conclusion, providing a language context enhanced arithmetic performances in bilinguals' second instruction language. This finding entails implications for designing optimal mathematic learning environments in multilingual educational settings. [less ▲]

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See detailThe relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals: insights from different stages of language acquisition
Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Landerl, Karin et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2015), 6

Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater ... [more ▼]

Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g., greater difficulties, error types, etc.) in arithmetic for bilingual individuals who frequently have to solve arithmetic problems in more than one language. The present study investigated how proficiency in two languages interacts with arithmetic problem solving throughout language acquisition in adolescents and young adults. Additionally, we examined whether the number word structure that is specific to a given language plays a role in number processing over and above bilingual proficiency. We addressed these issues in a German–French educational bilingual setting, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as teaching language. Importantly, German and French number naming structures differ clearly, as two-digit number names follow a unit-ten order in German, but a ten-unit order in French. We implemented a transversal developmental design in which bilingual pupils from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and young adults were asked to solve simple and complex additions in both languages. The results confirmed that language proficiency is crucial especially for complex addition computation. Simple additions in contrast can be retrieved equally well in both languages after extended language practice. Additional analyses revealed that over and above language proficiency, language-specific number word structures (e.g., unit-ten vs. ten-unit) also induced significant modulations of bilinguals' arithmetic performances. Taken together, these findings support the view of a strong relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals. [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of language on exact additions in bilinguals.
Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Landerl, Karin et al

Scientific Conference (2013, May)

To which degree is language involved in arithmetic and dependent on language proficiency? We investigated this question in a German-French educational bilingual setting in Luxembourg, where there is a ... [more ▼]

To which degree is language involved in arithmetic and dependent on language proficiency? We investigated this question in a German-French educational bilingual setting in Luxembourg, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as a teaching language. Due to this shift, students become increasingly more proficient in the non-dominant language (French) throughout the school years. Interestingly, the decades and units of two-digit number names follow the unit-decade order in German but the decade-unit order in French. Students from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and German-French adults (total N = 200) solved simple and complex additions presented in different conditions: (1) visual Arabic digits, (2) auditory presentation, and (3) as a dual task in which visually presented additions were preceded by visually presented semantic judgements to indirectly activate a language context. Participants performed each condition in a German and a French testing session. Participants were asked to respond orally in the testing language. Measures include correct responses and response times. The results suggest that language proficiency is crucial for the computation of complex additions, whereas simple additions can be retrieved equally well in both languages. Furthermore, additional error analyses showed more errors on the decade or on the unit digit depending on the language of the task. However, providing a language context seems to enhance performances only in the non-dominant language. Taken together, these results support the view of a strong language influence on arithmetic. [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of language on exact additions in bilingual adults.
Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Landerl, Karin et al

Poster (2013, April)

To which degree is language involved in arithmetic? We investigated this question in a German-French bilingual setting. In Luxembourg, bilingualism is acquired through education: mathematics are taught in ... [more ▼]

To which degree is language involved in arithmetic? We investigated this question in a German-French bilingual setting. In Luxembourg, bilingualism is acquired through education: mathematics are taught in German in primary and in French in secondary school. Interestingly, the decades and units within two-digit number names follow the unit-decade order in German but the decade-unit order in French. Forty-eight bilingual adults performed simple and complex additions. Participants had to orally respond either in German or in French. Additions were presented in different conditions: (1) visual Arabic presentation, (2) auditory presentation (in German or in French), and (3) as a dual task in which visually presented additions were preceded by visually presented semantic judgments to indirectly activate a German or French language context. The results showed that participants performed complex calculations better in the dominant language (German), while there were no differences for simple calculations. Thus, language proficiency seems to be crucial for the computation of more complex calculations, whereas arithmetic facts can be retrieved equally well in both languages. Further, adding language at the input level (auditory presentation) enhanced performances for simple calculations, especially in the non-dominant language (French), while it was exactly the opposite effect for complex calculations. Additionally, visual additions were better performed within a surrounding linguistic context (3) than alone (1) in their non-dominant language, suggesting the crucial role of the linguistic context of an addition task in bilinguals. Taken together, these results support the view of a strong language impact on calculations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 82 (7 UL)
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See detailThe influence of language on exact additions in bilingual pupils and adults.
Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Brunner, Martin UL; Landerl, Karin et al

Poster (2013, March)

To which degree is language involved in arithmetic? We investigated this question in a German-French bilingual setting. In Luxembourg, bilingualism is acquired through education: mathematics are taught in ... [more ▼]

To which degree is language involved in arithmetic? We investigated this question in a German-French bilingual setting. In Luxembourg, bilingualism is acquired through education: mathematics are taught in German in primary and in French in secondary school. Interestingly, the decades and units within two-digit number names follow the unit-decade order in German but the decade-unit order in French. We studied our research question in the multi-lingual educational context of Luxembourg by applying a developmental design. The present sample (total N = 200) included students from grades 7, 8, 10 and 11, as well as an adult bilingual group. This sample takes advantage of following the progressive transition from German to French as teaching languages. All participants performed simple and complex additions that they had to orally respond either in German or in French. Additions were presented in different conditions: (1) visual Arabic presentation, (2) auditory presentation (in German or in French), and (3) as a dual task in which visually presented additions were preceded by visually presented semantic judgements to indirectly activate a German or French language context. The results suggested that language proficiency seems to be crucial for the computation of more complex calculations, whereas simple additions can be retrieved equally well in both languages. Taken together, these results support the view of a strong language impact on calculations. Further results and implications will be discussed. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 93 (7 UL)
See detailThe effect of language and mode on two-digit magnitude judgments in German-French bilingual adults
Ugen, Sonja UL; Van Rinsveld, Amandine UL; Schiltz, Christine UL et al

Presentation (2012, July 17)

The study examined the effect of language and presentation mode on numerical processing skills in German-French bilinguals. This bilingual combination is particularly interesting because the order of two ... [more ▼]

The study examined the effect of language and presentation mode on numerical processing skills in German-French bilinguals. This bilingual combination is particularly interesting because the order of two digit number words is inversed in both languages: decade-unit in French but unit-decade in German. Further, previous studies used written number word presentations as verbal notation to activate language, which are, however, rarely used in everyday life. The present study therefore tackled the question whether two-digit magnitude judgments are affected by the presentation mode (visual Arabic vs. auditory words) and the language (German vs. French)? Data stem from proficient German-French bilinguals (mean age: 25,3 years. The within-subject design involved two-digit number pair comparisons presented visually and auditory in German and in French. In line with previous studies, participants responded faster and more accurately on compatible than on incompatible trials in the visual Arabic presentation mode in both languages (compatibility effect): In compatible number pairs, the decades and units concord to the same magnitude decision (e.g. 23_57; decade: 2<5 and unit:3<7) whereas decade and units discord (47_82; decade: 4<8 but 7>2) for incompatible number pairs. In the auditory mode, the results showed a tendency for a regular compatibility effect in German and an inverse compatibility effect in French with participants responding faster on incompatible trials suggesting that bilinguals process numerical tasks in the language of presentation similar to monolinguals using the same language. Conclusively, the results imply differential numerical processing according to the presentation mode (visual Arabic vs. auditory words) and the language (German vs. French). [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 41 (3 UL)