Analysing Mathematical Word Problem Solving with Secondary Education CLIL Students: A Pilot Study




CLIL, mathematics, secondary education, word problem solving, contextual factors, reading comprehension, student evaluation.


Análisis de la resolución de problemas con estudiantes AICLE de educación secundaria: un estudio piloto

Análise da resolução de problemas com alunos CLIL do ensino médio: um estudo piloto

The purpose of this study is to investigate to what extent the use of L2 in math tests influences bilingual education learners’ process of word problem solving in a mandatory secondary education school with Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). The reading comprehension level of the students was analysed using a standards-based assessment and the questions used in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. The word problems were selected according to the students’ level of reading-comprehension and mathematical competence. Leaners also had to answer a questionnaire, which was used to analyse if contextual factors were affecting mathematical performance in L2. To this end, the questionnaire included some questions related to the bilingual history of the students and their perception about solving word problems in English. Data were analysed through one-way or two-way ANOVA tests to find out which factors were relevant. Results show that solving word problems is not only affected by the use of L2, but that it also depends on the mathematical difficulty, irrespective of the students’ level of language proficiency. The findings, hence, imply that interaction between linguistic difficulty and mathematical complexity is at the centre of the issues affecting word problem solving.

To reference this article (APA) / Para citar este artículo (APA) / Para citar este artigo (APA)

Cabezuelo, R. & Pavón, V. (2019). Analysing mathematical word problem solving with secondary education CLIL students: A pilot study. LACLIL, 12(1), 18-45. DOI:

Received: 05/02/2019

Approved: 23/04/2019

* New version of PDF 22/01/2020: Change in order of authors. This changes can be seen in "To reference this article", in the first page and the cornices. No other change was made.


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Author Biography

Víctor Pavón, University of Córdoba (Spain)

Víctor Pavón-Vázquez is Assistant Professor at the University of Córdoba (Spain), where he teaches in the areas of EFL methodology and bilingual education. He is a member of the Committee for Language Accreditation within the CRUE (the national association of Rectors of Spanish universities), Head of the Dept. of English and German Philology, and President of the Language Policy Commission at the University of Córdoba. He has published in international journals such as the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language Policy, Theory Into Practice, Language Learning Journal or the European Journal of Applied Linguistics. As an author, researcher and lecturer, he is active in education development programmes in Europe and beyond, participating in educational projects in Europe, USA, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Cape Verde, Guatemala, Kirgizstan and Turkmenistan. His current interests focus on research and development for capacity building, and subsequent competence building of staff, to support the implementation of bilingual education programmes, and on the delineation of language policies in an international context.


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How to Cite

Cabezuelo, R., & Pavón, V. (2019). Analysing Mathematical Word Problem Solving with Secondary Education CLIL Students: A Pilot Study. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 12(1).




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