The Teaching of a Mathematical Course for Albanian Students Enrolled in the English Language Program

Sofokli Garo

Abstract


This paper presents the results of a study with regard to the way of delivering mathematics lectures for Albanian students that are enrolled in the English language program. The central study question was the following: Are English major students benefitting from a mathematics course when lectures are delivered in English language? Two questions were posed to 120 freshmen students, admitted to the English program due to their high scores received in the English Proficiency Admission Test. During the second semester of the first year in the program these students, grouped in four different sections, were required to take in English the “Basic Mathematics” course delivered by three different instructors. “The slope of a straight line” and “Independent and mutually exclusive events” were two discrete topics delivered during two different sessions. Only these lectures were delivered in Albanian language at a time distance of about two months from each other. “Do you think that presentation of the material in English would appeal to you (a) easier, (b) more difficult and (c) the same?” was the first question posed for all students at the beginning of the first session. Fifty seven percent, 20 percent and 23 percent were the corresponding percentages received for each case. “By hearing the lecture in Albanian did you find it (a) easier to understand, (b) more difficult, (c) no difference at all” was posed to the students at the end of the first session. Forty seven percent, 33 percent, and 20 percent were the corresponding percentages received for each case. The results showed that, although students had the perception of a better understanding of mathematical concepts when delivered in English, at the end of the session they found easier to understand the lecture when it was delivered in their national language. The study found similar results related to the second class. The study concludes that English language students in Albania are able to acquire much better when mathematical content and concepts are delivered in their national language and recommends delivering of this course in Albanian language. The author is aware of limitations of this study consisting in its sample small size, physical context, and the level of English proficiency on the part of Albanian students and instructors. However the value of the study lies in its originality and practicality for the system of higher education in Albania.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n4p55


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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