FOREIGN LANGUAGE MATHEMATICS: A PROJECT TO SUPPORT THE ACQUISITION OF MATHEMATICAL SKILLS

B. Martschink

Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Science (GERMANY)
When it comes to university-level mathematics in engineering education it is getting harder and harder to bridge the gap between the requirements of the curriculum and the actual math skills of first-year students. Often students fail to realise that they lack elementary math skills. Lecturers intend to help them to learn what they have not learned at school. But obstacles like for example lapses in their concentration while working on exercises or playing down their problems can make it difficult to bridge existing gaps.

In order to increase the concentration while solving problems that deal with elementary mathematics students could communicate in a foreign language. By doing so, they have to understand the subject matter in order to talk about it. The Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Science tries to launch a project that examines how dealing with these mathematical problems in a foreign language can support students acquiring fundamental mathematical skill. For this purpose the university is seeking for an international partnership. Via virtual communications students from both universities work in teams in English on mathematical problems. The research question if foreign language teaching can advance the acquisition of knowledge is the focus of interest.