The role of early language abilities on math skills among Chinese children

Juan ZHANG, Xitao FAN, Sum Kwing CHEUNG, Yaxuan MENG, Zhihui CAI, Bi Ying HU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
The present study investigated the role of early language abilities in the development of math skills among Chinese K-3 students. About 2000 children in China, who were on average aged 6 years, were assessed for both informal math (e.g., basic number concepts such as counting objects) and formal math (calculations including addition and subtraction) skills,
language abilities and nonverbal intelligence.

Methodology
Correlation analysis showed that language abilities were more strongly associated with informal than formal math skills, and regression analyses revealed that children’s language abilities could uniquely predict both informal and formal math skills with age, gender, and nonverbal intelligence controlled. Mediation analyses demonstrated that the relationship
between children’s language abilities and formal math skills was partially mediated by informal math skills.

Results
The current findings indicate 1) Children’s language abilities are of strong predictive values for both informal and formal math skills; 2) Language abilities impacts formal math skills partially through the mediation of informal math skills. Copyright © 2017 Zhang et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0181074
JournalPLoS One
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2017

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ability
language
mediation
intelligence
regression
China
gender
student

Citation

Zhang, J., Fan, X., Cheung, S. K., Meng, Y., Cai, Z., & Hu, B. Y. (2017). The role of early language abilities on math skills among Chinese children. PLoS ONE, 12(7). Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181074