Dr. Firat Soylu received a University of Alabama Level 1 RGC grant, titled "Mathematical Processing Differences between Bilinguals and Monolinguals." Here is the abstract for his study:
With more than 25% of school students coming from immigrant households where the primary language spoken at home is not English, bilingual populations underperform in mathematics classrooms, where language of instruction in the classroom differs from their native language. In addition to sociocultural factors, this is partially due to bilinguals processing math knowledge differently compared to monolinguals. Differences between doing arithmetic in one’s native language and a second language have not been scrutinized extensively. To fill this gap, both behavioral and neural (Electroencephalography) measures will be used to examine how a group of adult bilinguals (Turkish/English) process simple and complex addition problems in their first (Turkish) and second (English) languages, and how arithmetic processing in bilinguals compare to English-speaking monolinguals. This study will be the first-step towards a research program that investigates bilingual math processing both in developmental and adult populations and will inform the needs of ESL (English as a Second Language) students in math classrooms.