UPPSALA UNIVERSITY : Dep. of Linguistics and Philology : Computational Linguistics
Uppsala university
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Text and Language in Assessment of Mathematics and Science

Financed by The Swedish Research Council

Project overview

In this project, we study what kind of knowledge is really measured in international tests of students' knowledge of mathematics and natural science, e.g. TIMSS and PISA, as well as in other assessments, e.g. national tests and tests made by teachers. The study will focus on the phrasing of the questions.

Language has proved to be important for learning, and also in assessments. Linguistic obstacles may put to much focus on language as such, particularly for weak students, so the knowledge they demonstrate is primarily reading ability, not knowledge in mathematics and natural science. At the same time, an integral part of learning a subject is to learn the terms and expressions of that subject. It is therefore important to study the effect of language in assessments.

The main purpose of the project is to gain more knowledge of validations of assessments in mathematics and natural science, and to develop tools for such validations. In particular, the written language of the Swedish part of the international studies TIMMS 2003 and PISA 2003/2006 is studied. In a pedagogical-practical perspective, the results of the study hopefully gain insights into the question of what can be regarded as a valid assessment of knowledge in mathematics and natural science.



The project will primarily be focused on the Swedish part of TIMSS and PISA. More information on TIMSS can be found here, and more information on PISA can be found here.

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