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Teaching Mathematics in a Primary Multilingual Classroom

Mamokgethi Setati 

November 2005, Volume 36, Issue 5, Page 447

This article explores the complex relationship between language and mathematics education in multilingual settings by presenting an analysis of one lesson from a multilingual primary mathematics classroom in South Africa taught by an appropriately qualified and experienced teacher. English emerged as a dominant language in this classroom, and this dominance was accompanied by procedural mathematics discourse. The learners' home language functioned mainly as the language of solidarity, whereas English functioned as the language of mathematics, authority, and  assessment. The article argues for the need to recognize and acknowledge the political role of language when conducting research into the relationship between language and mathematics education in multilingual classrooms. The article draws implications for making critical, influential decisions about curriculum, assessment, and teacher  education.  

Grades 6-8
Math Coordinator / Coach
Performance-based assessments
Numbers and Operations
Multivariate Methods
Skill and Fluency
Professional Development / Teacher Education