Fundamental influences related to language-based difficulties in financial mathematics

  • A. Bayaga Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • X. Khalo University of Fort Hare, East London
  • G. Moyo University of Zululand, Richards Bay
Keywords: errors, financial mathematics, language difficulty


Motivated in part by a sustained amount of research in South Africa and principally guided by techniques of problem-solving suggested by Polya as well as error analysis by Newman, the current research examines fundamental influencers (underlying factors) relating errors due to language difficulties in financial mathematics concerning the language of instruction. The current research was accomplished using a case study design. The sample size was 105 out of a population of 186, with assumption of confidence and precision levels at 95 per cent and 0.5 respectively. The aim of the study was addressed by using both sets of structured-interview and document analysis for collecting data. Analysis of data was conducted by both content analysis as well as correlation analysis, wherein, the analysis revealed that errors committed by learners in financial mathematics were due to language difficulties. In contrast, misinterpretation of the mathematical semantics was not as a result of not indicating answers as expected, not following instructions, and not understanding instructions.


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Author Biographies

A. Bayaga, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education (MSTE) and

Department of Senior Secondary Education




X. Khalo, University of Fort Hare, East London
G. Moyo, University of Zululand, Richards Bay

Department of Social science



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How to Cite
Bayaga, A., X. Khalo, and G. Moyo. 2021. “Fundamental Influences Related to Language-Based Difficulties in Financial Mathematics”. South African Journal of Higher Education 35 (3), 29-44.
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