Resources for Arabic speaker (ESL) learning lab maths?
November 18, 2016 5:39 AM   Subscribe

An Arabic-speaking student with weak English needs a crash course or quick reference for the basic maths required to do postgraduate biology bench research. Any suggestions for resources I can point them to?

It needs to be in basic English, avoiding unnecessary idiomatic and technical language as much as possible or -- ideally -- in Arabic with reference to English terms so they can learn more easily then have useful conversations about it in our English-speaking lab.

Their current level of maths knowledge is less than I'd expect from a bright high school science student. Specific topics that need to be covered include but are definitely not limited to:
Molar concentrations: the basic concept (what a mole is and Avogadro's constant, the difference between e.g. 0.5M and 50%w/v), and how to do calculations to make molar solutions
SI units, with prefixes and what they mean (milli- micro- nano-, etc)
Rudimentary statistics: Normal distributions, standard deviations, null hypotheses, t-tests, p values, power calculations
Ideally, making and understanding simple formulae in Excel.
...most other maths that you might imagine a biology PhD candidate would need.

If Lab Math has an arabic equivalent, it might be an ideal start. I'm doing my best to teach them piecemeal as things come up, but really they need something they can sit with to work from the basics up, and then refer to occasionally.

NB: This is in the UK, where PhD candidates don't attend taught courses in the same way as candidates in the USA. I'm looking for suitable courses in the uni that they could join, but that's outside the scope of this question.

Thanks!
posted by metaBugs to Education (2 answers total)
 
It might be worth looking at mathcentre and statstutor, which are more or less designed for plugging the holes in undergraduates' math skills. I don't really know how to gauge the level of English required, but they're definitely written to not scare people who are scared of math.
posted by hoyland at 11:20 AM on November 18, 2016


It appears Khan Academy has lessons available in Arabic (scroll to the bottom of the page.) I didn't see "lab maths" specifically, but there may some applicable information to cull from a related topic.
posted by JulesER at 1:34 PM on November 18, 2016


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