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MaGrid: A Language-Neutral Early Mathematical Training and Learning Application Pazouki, Tahereh ; Cornu, Véronique ; Sonnleitner, Philipp et al in International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (in press) Given that the use of educational technologies is increasingly popular in kindergarten and among young students, these technologies have been shown to be able to solve the difficulties (existing in school ... [more ▼] Given that the use of educational technologies is increasingly popular in kindergarten and among young students, these technologies have been shown to be able to solve the difficulties (existing in school) that are either not possible to be solved in traditional schooling or cost a lot of time and resources. In this paper, we present a pedagogical training and learning application called MaGrid (Math on Grid), which has been developed to foster early mathematical skills in pre-schoolers. MaGrid is a tablet-based application, which provides a wide range of training tasks targeting fundamental mathematical concepts for the preschool level. The language-neutral property of MaGrid is an innovative aspect that makes MaGrid different from existing mathematical training applications. This property may reduce the barrier of language from mathematical education for second language learners encountered in multilingual school settings. MaGrid allows individual learning in an interactive way and provides real-time feedback. Moreover, MaGrid is capable of recording students’ activities while working on the training tasks, which can help teachers and parents keep track of a student’s progress in different tasks and observe potential training-related improvements over time. Finally, we describe a series of experiments carried out using the MaGrid application during special training and assessment sessions in several preschools in Luxembourg. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 70 (15 UL)The relation between visuospatial abilities and verbal number skills in preschool: Adding spatial language to the equation Georges, Carrie ; ; Schiltz, Christine Poster (2018, September) Detailed reference viewed: 6 (1 UL)Differential association of symbolic and non-symbolic numerical abilities in children with and without MLD – Evidence from large scale assessment data ; Hornung, Caroline ; Hoffmann, Danielle et al Poster (2018, September) Detailed reference viewed: 37 (5 UL)Project NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language Greisen, Max ; Hornung, Caroline ; Schiltz, Christine Poster (2018, June 28) Although numerical skills are essential in modern societies, 5- 7 % of the population suffer from mathematical learning disabilities. Due to the hierarchical nature of mathematical knowledge, screening ... [more ▼] Although numerical skills are essential in modern societies, 5- 7 % of the population suffer from mathematical learning disabilities. Due to the hierarchical nature of mathematical knowledge, screening during the earliest stages of learning is essential to intervene efficiently. While different screening tools exist, they rely on verbal instructions and task content, hampering their usefulness in linguistically heterogeneous young school populations. We developed a computerized task that requires subjects to encode both auditory and visual numerical information to successfully respond to the task’s demands. For task instruction, participants were presented a video showing a person correctly solving three easy items of the task, before moving on to a practice session of three different items. If any item was solved incorrectly, the entire practice session was repeated for the participant. We administered the task to a sample of first grade students and collected participant’s performance in standardized addition, subtraction and number comparison (1 & 2-digit) tasks. A multivariate analysis with practice repetition as between-subject factor on the four standardized control measures revealed that participants that repeated the practice session scored significantly lower in three out of four dependent measures. These results suggest that the immediate understanding (i.e. practice items solved correctly on the first try) of our task, requiring deductive reasoning and an abstract, format-independent representation of quantity, is able to differentiate between high and low performers on standardized measures of basic math competence non-verbally at an early stage of learning. Implications and limitations will be discussed. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 21 (0 UL)Taking Language out of the Equation: The Assessment of Basic Math Competence Without Language Greisen, Max ; Hornung, Caroline ; Baudson, Tanja et al in Frontiers in Psychology (2018) While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful ... [more ▼] While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful remediation. Universally employable diagnostic tools are yet lacking, as current test batteries for basic mathematics assessment are based on verbal instructions. However, prior research has shown that performance in mathematics assessment is often dependent on the testee’s proficiency in the language of instruction which might lead to unfair bias in test scores. Furthermore, language-dependent assessment tools produce results that are not easily comparable across countries. Here we present results of a study that aims to develop tasks allowing to test for basic math competence without relying on verbal instructions or task content. We implemented video and animation-based task instructions on touchscreen devices that require no verbal explanation. We administered these experimental tasks to two samples of children attending the first grade of primary school. One group completed the tasks with verbal instructions while another group received video instructions showing a person successfully completing the task.We assessed task comprehension and usability aspects both directly and indirectly. Our results suggest that the non-verbal instructions were generally well understood as the absence of explicit verbal instructions did not influence task performance. Thus we found that it is possible to assess basic math competence without verbal instructions. It also appeared that in some cases a single word in a verbal instruction can lead to the failure of a task that is successfully completed with non-verbal instruction. However, special care must be taken during task design because on rare occasions non-verbal video instructions fail to convey task instructions as clearly as spoken language and thus the latter do not provide a panacea to non-verbal assessment. Nevertheless, our findings provide an encouraging proof of concept for the further development of non-verbal assessment tools for basic math competence. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 43 (2 UL)Automatic discrimination of digits and letters in first graders and adults: an EEG Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation study. Lochy, Aliette ; Schiltz, Christine Poster (2018, June) Both letters and digits are arbitrary visual shapes that are distinguished into categories only after cultural acquisition. The observation that digits are easier to identify than letters has been ... [more ▼] Both letters and digits are arbitrary visual shapes that are distinguished into categories only after cultural acquisition. The observation that digits are easier to identify than letters has been repeatedly reported in the literature (Shubert, 2017). In the present study, we used a Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation approach with EEG recordings to assess the automatic discrimination of letters and digits from each other in 1st grade children (N=17) and in adults (N=18). Participants viewed 40 sec sequences (3 repetitions per condition) of frequent stimuli (letters or digits) at a fast periodic rate (adults: 10Hz, children: 6Hz), in which rare stimuli (the other category of alphanumeric symbols) were periodically inserted (every five items, e.g., adults: at 2Hz, children: at 1.2Hz). Results showed discrimination responses in both groups in posterior occipito-temporal regions with clear changes in lateralization patterns. In children, stimuli contained only single elements. Responses were right-lateralized for digits among letters, and revealed a trend for left-lateralization for letters among digits. In adults, when stimuli contained only 1 character, both letters and digits gave rise to responses in the RH. However, when strings of characters were presented, then letters were discriminated from digits in the LH. These findings show a developmental pattern where single elements in children seem to be processed like strings of elements in adults. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 7 (1 UL)Overcoming language barriers in early mathematics instruction with “MaGrid” - a language-neutral training tool for multilingual school settings Cornu, Véronique ; Pazouki, Tahereh ; Schiltz, Christine et al Poster (2018, April 08) Mathematical knowledge at the onset of formal schooling paves the way for children’s achievement in formal mathematics (e.g. Duncan et al., 2007; Watts et al., 2014). Hence, it is crucial to equip ... [more ▼] Mathematical knowledge at the onset of formal schooling paves the way for children’s achievement in formal mathematics (e.g. Duncan et al., 2007; Watts et al., 2014). Hence, it is crucial to equip children with sound basic mathematical competencies by deploying effective teaching interventions during preschool years. However, multilingual school settings, such as Luxembourg (65% of the pupils are second language learners) pose a special challenge for instruction. Non-native pre-schoolers perform lower on early mathematics tests than their age-matched peers (Bonifacci et al., 2016; Kleemans et al., 2011). This gap is most likely due to missing out on learning opportunities, as a result of lower proficiency in the language of instruction. To provide equal access to early mathematics education for all children, we developed a language-neutral early mathematics training tool, the “MaGrid”-app. This innovative training tool has been evaluated, so far, in two studies in multilingual Luxembourg. In a first study, children from five classrooms (N = 68) used the tool to train visuo-spatial abilities, an important predictor of mathematical abilities (see e.g. Mix et al., 2016), over ten weeks (2x20min/week). At post-test, significant gains in the visuo-spatial domain were observed, compared to children from “teaching-as-usual” classrooms (N = 57). In a second study, we elaborated a comprehensive language-neutral early mathematics intervention, with “MaGrid” at its core. Findings from both training studies will be presented in detail and the importance of domain-specific versus domain-general precursors, as well as practical implications, will be discussed. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 118 (16 UL)Surmonter les barrières linguistiques avec « MaGrid » - un outil de formation de pré-mathématiques pour un contexte scolaire multilingue Cornu, Véronique ; Pazouki, Tahereh ; Schiltz, Christine et al Scientific Conference (2018, January 11) Le contexte scolaire luxembourgeois est caractérisé par le multilinguisme et une population scolaire hétérogène, ce qui nécessite la mise en place de pratiques pédagogiques qui prennent en compte ... [more ▼] Le contexte scolaire luxembourgeois est caractérisé par le multilinguisme et une population scolaire hétérogène, ce qui nécessite la mise en place de pratiques pédagogiques qui prennent en compte l’hétérogénéité des élèves. Dans le domaine des mathématiques, qui semble être non-verbal à première vue, des résultats scientifiques montrent que les enfants dont la langue maternelle est différente de la langue d’instruction, atteignent sur des tests d’aptitudes pré-mathématiques des résultats significativement inférieurs à ceux de leurs camarades natifs. Ceci est d’autant plus inquiétant, sachant que ces aptitudes pré-mathématiques sont prédictives des apprentissages ultérieurs. Par conséquent, nous avons développé l’outil de formation de pré-mathématiques non-verbale « MaGrid ». « MaGrid » permet à chaque enfant de bénéficier pleinement d’une instruction préscolaire en mathématiques, indépendamment de ses compétences langagières. Cet outil se caractérise par sa nature visuelle et il est implémenté sur tablette tactile. Jusqu’à présent, nous avons implémenté et évalué « MaGrid » lors de deux études scientifiques. Les résultats quantitatifs des évaluations empiriques sont prometteurs, comme ils montrent des effets positifs sur les habilités entraînées chez les enfants ayant utilisé cet outil comparé à un groupe contrôle. Dans une première étude, l’outil a été utilisé auprès de cinq classes durant 10 semaines, comprenant deux séances de 20 minutes par semaine. Les résultats lors de petites épreuves spécifiques ont été comparés aux résultats d’élèves de cinq classes n’ayant pas d’entraînement spécifique, et des effets d’intervention ont été observés. Dans une deuxième étude, nous nous sommes focalisés sur un groupe d’enfants de langue minoritaire (le portugais). « MaGrid » a été utilisé lors d’un programme d’intervention de pré-mathématiques s’étendant sur les deux années scolaires de l’école préscolaire. Les analyses préliminaires ont abouti à des résultats positifs. Des effets bénéfiques se sont manifestés sur différentes mesures de pré-mathématiques chez les enfants ayant suivi notre programme par rapport aux enfants du groupe contrôle. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 96 (14 UL)Enjeux soulevés par la technologie dans l’évaluation de compétences Pere, Maxime ; Lallemand, Carine ; Busana, Gilbert et al Scientific Conference (2018) Detailed reference viewed: 96 (15 UL)Visuo-spatial abilities are key for young children’s verbal number skills Cornu, Véronique ; Schiltz, Christine ; Martin, Romain et al in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2018), 166C Children’s development of verbal number skills (i.e, counting abilities and knowledge of the number names) presents a milestone in mathematical development. Different factors such as visuo-spatial and ... [more ▼] Children’s development of verbal number skills (i.e, counting abilities and knowledge of the number names) presents a milestone in mathematical development. Different factors such as visuo-spatial and verbal abilities have been discussed to contribute to the development of these foundational skills. To understand the cognitive nature of verbal number skills in young children, the present study assessed the relation of preschoolers’ verbal and visuo-spatial abilities to their verbal number skills. In total, 141 children aged between five and six years participated in the present study. Verbal number skills were regressed on vocabulary, phonological awareness and visuo-spatial abilities, as well as verbal and visuo-spatial working memory in a structural equation model. Only visuo-spatial abilities emerged as a significant predictor of verbal number skills in the estimated model. Our results suggest that visuo-spatial abilities contribute to a larger extent to children’s verbal number skills than verbal abilities. From a theoretical point of view, these results suggest a visuo-spatial, rather than a verbal, grounding of verbal number skills. These results are potentially informative for the conception of early mathematics assessments and interventions. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 189 (22 UL)Developmental changes in the effect of active left and right head rotation on random number generation Georges, Carrie ; Sosson, Charlotte ; Guillaume, Mathieu et al in Frontiers in Psychology (2018) Detailed reference viewed: 23 (2 UL)Implicit and explicit number-space associations differentially relate to interference control in young adults with ADHD Georges, Carrie ; Hoffmann, Danielle ; Schiltz, Christine in Frontiers in Psychology (2018) Detailed reference viewed: 61 (1 UL)Project NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language Greisen, Max ; ; Martin, Romain et al Poster (2017, September 08) While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼] While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently, their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. Here we are showing results of the first two pilot studies of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the tasks has been tested with two samples of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half completed the same tasks with traditional verbal instructions. Our results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar or better than the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet-pc use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 64 (20 UL)The relevance of verbal and visuo-spatial abilities for verbal number skills – what matters in 5 to 6 year olds? Cornu, Véronique ; Schiltz, Christine ; Martin, Romain et al Poster (2017, September) The acquisition of verbal number skills, as defined by the meaningful use of number words, marks a milestone in numerical development. In the present study, we were particularly interested in the question ... [more ▼] The acquisition of verbal number skills, as defined by the meaningful use of number words, marks a milestone in numerical development. In the present study, we were particularly interested in the question, whether verbal number skills are primarily verbal in nature, or if they call upon visuo-spatial processes, reflecting a spatial grounding of verbal number skills. 141 five- to six-year old children were tested on a range of verbal (i.e. vocabulary, phonological awareness and verbal working memory) and visuo-spatial abilities (i.e. spatial perception, visuo-motor integration and visuo-spatial working memory). We were particularly interested in the predictive role of these abilities for children’s verbal number skills (as measured by different counting and number naming tasks). In a latent regression model, basic visuo-spatial abilities, measured by spatial perception and visuo-motor integration, emerge as the most important predictor of verbal number skills. This gives raise to the assumption, that verbal number skills are, despite their verbal nature, spatially grounded in young children. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 80 (13 UL)Spatial skills first: The importance of mental rotation for arithmetic skill acquisition Georges, Carrie ; Cornu, Véronique ; Schiltz, Christine Poster (2017, September) Detailed reference viewed: 31 (3 UL)Project NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language Greisen, Max ; Hornung, Caroline ; Martin, Romain et al Poster (2017, May 31) While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼] While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently, their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. Here we are showing results of the first pilot study of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the tasks has been tested with two samples of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half completed the same tasks with traditional verbal instructions. Our results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar or better than the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet-pc use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 37 (9 UL)Mathematical abilities in elementary school: Do they relate to number–space associations? Georges, Carrie ; Hoffmann, Danielle ; Schiltz, Christine in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2017) Considering the importance of mathematics in Western societies, it is crucial to understand the cognitive processes involved in the acquisition of more complex mathematical skills. The current study ... [more ▼] Considering the importance of mathematics in Western societies, it is crucial to understand the cognitive processes involved in the acquisition of more complex mathematical skills. The current study, therefore, investigated how the quality of number–space mappings on the mental number line, as indexed by the parity SNARC (spatial–numerical association of response codes) effect, relates to mathematical performances in third- and fourth-grade elementary school children. Mathematical competencies were determined using the “Heidelberger Rechentest,” a standardized German math test assessing both arithmetical and visuospatial math components. Stronger parity SNARC effects significantly related to better arithmetical but not visuospatial math abilities, albeit only in the relatively younger children. These findings highlight the importance of spatial–numerical interactions for arithmetical (as opposed to visuospatial) math skills at the fairly early stages of mathematical development. Differential relations might be explained by the reliance on problem-solving strategies involving number–space mappings only for arithmetic tasks mainly in younger children. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 91 (6 UL)Training early visuo-spatial abilities: A controlled classroom-based intervention study. Cornu, Véronique ; Schiltz, Christine ; Pazouki, Tahereh et al in Applied Developmental Science (2017) Visuo-spatial training can be considered as a promising approach to provide young children with a sound foundation for later mathematical learning. We developed and implemented a tablet-based visuo ... [more ▼] Visuo-spatial training can be considered as a promising approach to provide young children with a sound foundation for later mathematical learning. We developed and implemented a tablet-based visuo-spatial intervention in kindergarten classrooms aiming to foster the development of children’s visuo-spatial and numerical abilities. A sample of N = 125 children participated in the present study, 68 children were part of the intervention group and participated in 20 training sessions of 20 minutes over a 10-week period, 57 children formed a business as usual control group. Results show that, at this young age, visuo-spatial and early math skills are already strongly interlinked. However, the training effects were domain-specific as they only improved visuo-spatial skills, but did not transfer to early math performance in the present setting. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 212 (58 UL)Are parity and magnitude status of Arabic digits processed automatically? An EEG study using the fast periodic visual stimulation Poncin, Alexandre ; ; Guillaume, Mathieu et al Presentation (2017, February 22) Many studies have shown that humans can easily extract numerical characteristics of single digits such as numerical magnitude and parity status. We investigated whether spontaneous processing of magnitude ... [more ▼] Many studies have shown that humans can easily extract numerical characteristics of single digits such as numerical magnitude and parity status. We investigated whether spontaneous processing of magnitude or parity status can be observed when participants are passively presented with sequences of briefly displayed Arabic digits. We assessed the parity processing by presenting seven odd digit numbers followed by one even digit (and reverse) with a sinusoidal contrast modulation at a frequency of 10HZ in one-minute sequences. The same paradigm and frequencies were used to investigate magnitude processing (i.e. seven digits smaller than five followed by one digit larger than five; and reverse) and control condition (i.e. sequence of 1-4-6-9 followed by 2-3-7 or 8). We observed a strong EEG activation on right parietal electrodes and a weaker activation on left parietal electrodes in all conditions. Left and right activations were stronger in the parity than in the other conditions, reflecting an automatic retrieval of parity information conveyed by the Arabic digits. The weaker activation during the magnitude task could reflect a more complicated access of the information corresponding to magnitude status. Right activations during the control task could be due to the fact that subjects can quickly learn to categorize numbers arbitrarily. These neuronal activation patterns are consistent with the neuro-imaging literature describing the localization of basic numerical processing. Our findings indicate that magnitude and parity status are extracted automatically from Arabic digits, even when numerical stimuli are presented without instructions at a high presentation rate. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 49 (9 UL)Project NUMTEST; Assessing basic number competence without language Greisen, Max ; Schiltz, Christine ; Hornung, Caroline et al Poster (2017, February 20) While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼] While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. The present study is the first pilot study of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the application has been tested with a sample of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half used the same application but with traditional German instructions. First results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar to the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲] Detailed reference viewed: 93 (17 UL) |
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