Linguistic relativity:The case of place value in multi-digit numbers

Saxton, Matthew and Towse, John N. (1998) Linguistic relativity:The case of place value in multi-digit numbers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 69 (1). pp. 66-79. ISSN 0022-0965

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Abstract

Differences between languages have been implicated recently in explanations of the cross-cultural disparities observed in children's mathematical performance on place value tasks (e.g., Miura, Okamaoto, Kim, Chang, Steere & Fayol, 1994). Children's understanding of place value was investigated here with 93 English-speaking children and 50 Japanese-speaking children (aged 6 and 7 years). Cubes denoting units and tens were made available to children for producing representations of multi-digit numerals. It was found that subtle shifts in task instructions produced a marked influence on children's performance. In particular, differences between English and Japanese participants disappeared when the use of tens cubes was demonstrated in practice trials. More generally, the findings indicate that the influence of language on the cognitive representation of number is less direct than has previously been suggested.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3205
Subjects:
ID Code:
84260
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
24 Jan 2017 15:20
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
24 Mar 2020 04:47