PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

Mgbakoigba: Journal of African Studies

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The Mathematics-language symbiosis: The learners' benefits

Aloysius U Umeodinka, Chizoba Agatha Nnubia

Abstract


It has seemingly existed unnoticed that students admitted to read language in the higher institutions often wonder about the place of mathematics in their course of study, that they are compelled to take basic mathematics in their General Studies. On their own part, those whose course of study is mathematics are curious  concerning why they are expected to partake in language studies. The effect of this has been unwilling attendance, disinterestedness, low attendance to the lectures, plus poor results or total failure in the examinations. This state of affairs has occasioned this topic of study: "The Mathematics-Language Symbiosis: The Learners' Benefits". The objective is to look into the relationship between mathematics and language to find out whether there is a symbiotic relationship between both of them, the nature of the relationship and the advantages that will accrue to the students or learners. A descriptive approach is adopted in the investigation. The Theory of Applied Linguistics propounded by Leonard Bloomfield in 1941 guides the study. The study finds out that there exists a give-and-take relationship between mathematics and language. Among other things, the investigation finds out that, in reality, mathematical reasoning and problem-solving are closely linked to language, and depend upon a firm understanding of basic mathematics vocabulary. Also established is that language provides students with the foundation they need not only to comprehend mathematical concepts, but to successfully interact within a mathematics classroom so as to continue learning advanced concepts. The findings include the fact that syntactic relations necessitate philosophical statements on logical probability. In other words, some syntactic principles determine logic and mathematical assumptions.



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