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Mathematics Discourse: It's Like Hearing a Foreign Language

Donna Kotsopoulos 

November 2007, Volume 101, Issue 4, Page 301

Abstract:
After frequently hearing students comment that the language used in mathematics is "like hearing a foreign language," the author investigates this perception by studying a ninth-grade mathematics classroom. Her finding suggests that students experience interference from the ways in which language is used in mathematics. The author shows the different types of interference that occurs in student understanding of mathematical language, and gives suggestions of how to block that interference.

Keywords:
Article
Communication
Grades 9-12
Teacher
Skill and Fluency