Does anyone know of any studies or have personal experience dealing with difficulties (if any) faced by students studying mathematics if they come from countries which use languages written from right-to-left or top-down?
I have been wondering about this recently because I have been working on supplemental study guides. It occured to me that mathematics covering everything from arithmetic to calculus is heavily viewed in terms of a left-to-right perspective (e.g. digits with the highest place value are the leftmost ones in a numeral and are thus read first; the positive x-axis extends to the right; a line with positive slope is seen as one which goes up when viewed from left-to-right)
Then again there are many accomplished mathematicians who come from countries which speak and write these languages so maybe it's not that difficult of a conceptual jump after all. I think I for one would have difficulty though...
I taught in a school that has Israeli students whose families had moved to the US. These children had Hebrew as their native language. Hebrew is written right to left. I never saw these students struggle with math because they learned to write from right to left.
Furthermore all students in my school studied both Hebrew and English, learning to write both right to left and left to right. No one seemed to struggle with direction in math class which was taught in English.
Am Arabian Mathematician. In my country in all school we used to write math from right to left i scored very well in 12th grade 179/200. But in the universities we use English books so we write from left to right it was hard for me to get through that in the first course I scored 65/100 by the time I used to that and now am PhD student in the US. So my opinion it is not that hard by practice 100 or more problems normal student should be fine.