This paper reports the results of a mixed-methods study of the KCSE mathematics examination, a high-stakes test taken by students upon the completion of secondary education. The examination is given in English. The general research question is: Do examinations such as the KCSE mathematics assessment measure knowledge of the content area independent of advanced knowledge of English? The statistical analyses (correlation and regression) revealed that English scores predicted students’ mathematics scores. Linguistic analysis of the English language requirements of the test revealed that the test items require a specialized knowledge of English including: (1) general academic and mathematics-specific vocabulary items; (2) a higher frequency of informational words as the means to achieve more concise expression; and (3) complex syntax, which allows embedding of complex ideas into fewer words. These features are components of the mathematics register. The findings contribute to a broader understanding of the relationships among English language, mathematics learning, and assessment in Kenya; the findings suggest implications for educational practice.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||533|
|State||Published - Oct 15 2015|
|Event||The 3rd Annual Kenya International Conference on Education - Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya|
Duration: Jul 14 2015 → Jul 16 2015
|Conference||The 3rd Annual Kenya International Conference on Education|
|Period||7/14/15 → 7/16/15|