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The Relationship Between English Proficiency And Mathematics Proficiency Education Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 2603 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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English is considered to be the official secondary language of the Filipinos. From pre-school, English is taught to students until they graduate college. The medium of instruction on examinations are commonly written in the English language. Learning materials at schools like textbooks are usually written in English, with few exceptions like books that are for Filipino subjects and/or history subjects. Mathematics subject also use the English language.

In a survey conducted by Trends in Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS), the ones who topped in the mathematics field are countries which English are not their primary language. Countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, countries that are primarily non-English speakers and are located in Asia, ranked top at the consecutive Mathematics assessments by TIMSS.

Previous studies on determining the relationship between language proficiency and mathematical proficiency have either stated that one is dependent on the other or both are not related to each other.

In technical programs such as Computer Science, mathematics is extensively practiced and performed to make computer software and complex algorithms to help solve problems, as well as to provide us an easier life. Mathematics proficiency is quite needed to perform well in the said program.

However we can say that Mathematics has its own distinct grammar since it follows its own convention of writing and reading equations and formulas. Though commonly English language is used for worded problems and equations written in sentences, Mathematics is considered language neutral because mathematical equations and formulas can be read by any mathematicians around the world regardless of their native language.

This study was organized to answer the question: Is there any relationship between English proficiency and Math proficiency of the BSCS students enrolled at STI College Bacoor A.Y. 2012 – 2013?

Statement of the Problem

This study aims to determine the relationship between the English proficiency and Mathematics proficiency of BSCS Students o STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First Semester.

The questions to be answered are as follows:

What is the English proficiency level of BSCS Students of STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First Semester?

What is the Mathematics proficiency level of BSCS Students of STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First Semester?

Is there any relationship between the English proficiency level and Mathematics proficiency level of the BSCS Students of STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First Semester?

Objectives of the Study

To determine the English proficiency level of BSCS Students of STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First semester.

To determine the Mathematics proficiency level of BSCS Students of STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First semester.

To determine the relationship between English proficiency level and Mathematics proficiency level of the selected BSCS students of STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First semester.

Significance of the Study

The study of the relation levels of Math and English scores of the students can be a learning paradigm for people particularly those who are conscious why their grades in math is higher than English and vice versa. This study would enhance the awareness of people as well as help them gain more knowledge. The following may benefit from the research:

Students – since they are the ones that are particularly studied in this research and also the main informants, the proposed study would help them know their status if they are good in Math, English, or both or neither. It would help them be aware of the relationship between their Math and English skills.

Teachers – this study, in particular, would encourage the teachers to test the students’ Math and English skills and to promote awareness to the students.

Parents – the study will help parents be aware if their children are good at math, English, both or neither.

The future researchers – this study would serve as a guide for future researchers of the same research topic. It would help them enhance their study with concrete basis.


The researchers of this study have formulated the hypothesis:

H0 – There is no relationship between the English and Math proficiency of BSCS Students of STI College Bacoor A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First Semester.

Conceptual Framework


The relationship between the English Proficiency and Mathematics Proficiency


Use of statistical tools to determine the correlation value between the two variables


English Proficiency Level

Mathematics Proficiency Level


In this research, the necessary inputs would be the average score of math and English. After getting their average it would be used together to calculate for correlation value, and this would determine whether there is a relationship between the math proficiency and English proficiency levels of the students.

Scope and Limitation

The study focuses mainly on the relationship of Math proficiency and English proficiency. This study is conducted during A.Y. 2012 – 2013, First Semester at STI College Bacoor. The researchers of this study will administer questionnaires to students for them to answer it.

To calculate their proficiency level in Math and English, the selection of respondents is only limited to students who are taking up the program of Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) in STI College Bacoor A.Y. 2012 – 2013, first semester. The respondents are official regular students or belonging to a block section. The study does not take heed on the gender or age of the students as they are part of the regular students in STI College Bacoor, A.Y. 2012 – 2013, first semester.

Definition of Terms

English Proficiency Test – is a set of standardized questions to determine the intelligence level of the respondent in the English field. Used for assessing the English language proficiency of the examinee. Commonly language proficiency assessments should contain reading, writing, listening, and speaking exercises. For this study, only the basic reading and analytic skills in English will be assessed.

Mathematics Proficiency Test – is a set of standardized questions to get the intelligence level of the respondent in the Mathematics subject. This is performed to assess an examinee’s skills in mathematics such as solving, logic, and reasoning. Only the basic and essential mathematics skills are to be measured in this study.

English Proficiency Level – this is obtained by calculating the respondents’ scores in a standardized English Proficiency Test. For this study, only the Basic English proficiency test will be used.

Mathematics Proficiency Level – this is determined by getting the respondent’s scores in a standardized Mathematical Proficiency Test. For this study, also a basic Math proficiency test will be used.


Language Proficiency

Language proficiency or linguistics proficiency, as defined by Wikipedia, is one’s ability to communicate in an acquired language.  As theories vary among pedagogues as to what constitutes proficiency, there is little consistency as to how different organizations classify it.

Additionally, fluency and language competence are generally recognized as being related, but separate controversial subjects. In predominant frameworks in the United States, proficient speakers demonstrate both accuracy and fluency, and use a variety of discourse strategies. Thus, native speakers of a language can be fluent without being considered proficient.

ACTFL Definition of Proficiency

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) distinguishes between proficiency and performance. In part, ACTFL’s definition of proficiency is derived from mandates issued by the United States government, declaring that a limited English proficient students is one who comes from a non-English background and “who has sufficient difficulty speaking, writing, writing, or understanding the English language and whose difficulties may deny such an individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the languages of instruction is English or to participate fully in our society.”

ACTFL views “performance” as being the combined effect of all three modes of communication: interpretative, interpersonal, and presentational.

English in the Republic of the Philippines

English language is considered as the international language in the planet. Medium of instructions are set to English for people around the world to understand and communicate better. In our country, we use English as our secondary language, next to our native languages. It is taught in schools as one of the two official languages of the country.

The Philippines was named the world’s best country in business English proficiency, even beating the United States of America according to a recent study by GlobalEnglish Corporation.

The Philippine laws and legal documents, with extremely rare exceptions, are written solely in English. English is also used in education, media, and business, though the people who use it as a second language far outnumber those who speak it as a first language. For highly technical subjects such as medicine, computing, and calculus, English is the preferred medium for textbooks, communication, etc. Multimedia materials in English are usually not dubbed or subbed.

Mathematics and Mathematics Proficiency

Mathematics is defined by Wikipedia as the abstract of study of subjects encompassing quantity, structure, space, change, and more; it has no generally accepted definition.

This subject plays an important part in our everyday lives whether we choose to acknowledge the fact or not. Many of our daily activities are done without thought of the underlying mathematics. We not only use mathematics for the obvious tasks like balancing accounts, telling time, and percentage rate calculations; but we also use math in esoteric ways every time we make use a GPS locator, visit a website, or view digital pictures.

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The National Research Council (NRC) performed an analysis on the meaning of mathematical proficiency, and issued a document in 2001 that outlines the five different elements that are needed for someone to be successful, or proficient, in learning mathematical skills. The following are the five “strands” must all co-exist in the learning process for a student to become mathematically proficient:

Conceptual Understanding

The NRC explains “conceptual understanding” as understanding the “big picture” of mathematics. Comprehending the concepts that need to be applied to have an understanding of the “how” and “why” of mathematics.

Procedural Fluency

Being able to actually execute the math problems is considered procedural fluency. This includes knowing what concepts to apply, and how to apply them to solve a mathematical equation.

Strategic Competence

Strategic competence is the ability of a student to understand that there may be multiple ways to solve a math problem. A student knows they can represent the problem and understand different ways it may be solved.

Adaptive Reasoning

The concept of adaptive reasoning addresses the discussion of how a problem is solved. This goes beyond memorization, but actually talking about why a solution worked.

Productive Disposition

Having a productive disposition is a key element in being mathematically proficient. This means that a student knows they have the ability and desire to learn — they can see the value in learning and understanding mathematical concepts and strategies.

The Grammar of Mathematics

Most mathematical notations used for formulas and equations have its own grammar. It is not dependent on any specific language as it can be read by any mathematicians around the world regardless of their native language. Conventions such as formulas written and read in left to right format and the usage of Latin alphabets for variables and parameters are observed in Mathematics. An equation such as sin x + a cos 2x ≥ 0 can be read by Chinese and Indian mathematicians alike.

Purposes of Proficiency Tests

Proficiency tests can serve as assessment to improve instruction. There are studies to support the idea that assessment should be used not only to check on the students’ progress and skills but also to enhance instructional decisions.

Black and Wiliam (1998) have concluded that the learning of students is generally improved in classrooms where teachers include attention to assessment in making judgments about teaching and learning. Assessments should also be done for students, to guide them and improve their learning.

Related Studies

According to Essien Anthony and Setati Mamokgethi, Learning and teaching mathematics not in your native language (i.e. English) is well documented. Underachievement by South African students in most rural schools is due to a lack of opportunity to participate in better learning experience (sometimes due to lack of English proficiency) rather than lack of ability or potential.

There is a perception that Asian students, particularly China, have good backgrounds in mathematics. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that these students are good in Mathematics because they perceive that this subject is less reliant on language skills. (Barton, 2005)



The study is to be conducted at STI College Bacoor which is located at Unit 3 Solid Manila Building, Tirona Highway, Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines. It is an institution that offers education in I.T related courses such as B.S. Computer Science and B.S. Information Technology.


This research is a correlational study. The primary goal of this study was to determine the relationship between the English Language proficiency and Mathematical proficiency of all BSCS students of STI College Bacoor for the A.Y. 2012 – 2013.


All of the BSCS students of STI College Bacoor that are enrolled for the academic year 2012 – 2013 are chosen to be the respondents of this study, with the exception of irregular students.



The researchers used the questionnaire method as the instrument for measuring the English proficiency and Mathematical proficiency levels of the participating students. This questionnaire contains sets of questions – basic grammar tests for the English proficiency test and basic math problems (worded and equation) for the Mathematics proficiency test.


The questions in the English proficiency test are based on the standard English vocabulary and English grammar that is found in any English language learning material.



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