A mathematics vocabulary questionnaire for use in the intermediate phase

South African Journal of Education. 2008;28(4):489-504


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: South African Journal of Education

ISSN: 0256-0100 (Print); 2076-3433 (Online)

Publisher: Education Association of South Africa

Society/Institution: Education Association of South Africa

LCC Subject Category: Education: Education (General) | Education: Special aspects of education

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Marthie van der Walt
Kobus Maree
Suria Ellis


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 16 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Teachers and psychologists need an instrument to assess learners' language proficiency in mathematics to enable them to plan and evaluate interventions and to facilitate best practice in mathematics classrooms. We describe the development of a mathematics vocabulary questionnaire to measure learners' language proficiency in mathematics in the intermediate phase. It covers all the steps from designing the preliminary questionnaire to standardising the final instrument. A sample of 1 103 Grades 4 to 7 Afrikaans-, English- and Tswana-speaking learners in North West Province completed the Mathematics Vocabulary questionnaire (Primary) (MV(P)), consisting of 12 items. We analysed the data by calculating discrimination values, performing a factor analysis, determining reliability coefficients, and investigating item bias by language, gender, and grade. We concluded that there was strong evidence of validity and reliability for the MV(P).