Language plays a vital role in the development of mathematical skills. Although language is needed to facilitate learning and application of mathematics skills, linguistic complexity can hinder the ability to understand and solve mathematical word problems. Statewide results demonstrate a higher percentage correct on the STAAR ninth grade reading and mathematics subtests for the 2013 administration. The purpose of this study was to analyze the STAAR English-I Reading and Algebra-I subtests using predicate-argument structures and traditional measures to determine whether there is a significant difference in syntactic complexity between the two subtests. Results of this study were promising in that both traditional measures and predicate-argument structure analysis revealed more syntactically complex items on the Algebra-I subtest. Statistically significant differences were not found, however, due to high variance within the Algebra-I data set.
August 2, 2016
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