To read mathematics textbooks, answer questions on mathematics assessments, and understand educator and student communication, students must develop an understanding of the academic language of mathematics. A primary aspect of academic language is vocabulary. This study focused on the mathematics-vocabulary performance of students in third and fifth grades. The authors designed and implemented a measure of key mathematics vocabulary in the late-elementary grades and compared performance on this measure to scores from general vocabulary and mathematics computation measures. Student performance at both grades was variable, with a 62-point range at third grade and a 95-point range at fifth grade. General vocabulary and mathematics computation were significant predictors of mathematics vocabulary, but the influence of these predictors differed by mathematics-vocabulary performance levels.
Powell, S. R., Driver, M. K., Roberts, G., & Fall, A.-M. (2017). An analysis of the mathematics vocabulary knowledge of third- and fifth-grade students: Connections to general vocabulary and mathematics computation. Learning and Individual Differences, 57, 22–32. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2017.05.011