Mathematics Department
Brigham Young University Hawaii
Laie, Hawaii

Algebra Proficiency in Calculus: A Look at English Language Learners

Algebra proficiency of ELLs in first semester calculus at a small private liberal arts college, with a student body of approximately 50% foreigners and ELLs, was studied. Inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. The results indicate that ELLs, including East Asians, are extremely weak in algebra at the beginning of calculus. However, by the end of first semester calculus, ELLs outperformed native English speakers and reached the algebra proficiency benchmark of 75%.

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