The Influence of Language on Mathematical Skills

Florence Gabriel, Denes Szucs

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The objective of this research is to shed light on the influential factors of core mathematical abilities. We explored the key cognitive strengths and weaknesses of two populations who experience learning difficulties in mathematics: children with developmental dyscalculia (DD) and children with specific language impairment (SLI). We tested 12 children with SLI, 12 participants with DD and 12 control children. We tested their IQ, mathematical and reading abilities, short-term and working memory, as well as number familiarity, symbolic and non-symbolic comparison. We found robust evidence for impaired visuo-spatial short-term and working memory in DD, and impaired verbal short-term memory in SLI. Children with SLI showed major deficits in counting skills. Children with DD and children with SLI had poor arithmetical skills, whereas children with SLI also showed poor mathematical reasoning skills. We discuss the influence of language and working memory on mathematical skills.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventBPS Developmental Section Annual Conference -
Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …


ConferenceBPS Developmental Section Annual Conference
Period1/01/14 → …


  • mathematical ability
  • dyscalculia
  • specific language impairment


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