Teaching Math to Multilingual Students: Positioning English Learners for Success
by Kathryn B. Chval, Erin Smith, Lina Trigos-Carrillo, and Rachel J. Pinnow
Using strengths-based approaches to support development in mathematics
It is time to reimagine what is possible and celebrate the brilliance that multilingual learners bring to today’s classrooms. Innovative teaching strategies can position these learners as leaders in mathematics. Yet, even as the number of multilingual learners in North American schools grows, many teachers have not had opportunities to gain the competencies required to teach these learners effectively, especially in disciplines such as mathematics. Multilingual learners—historically called English Language Learners—are expected to interpret the meaning of problems, analyze, make conjectures, evaluate their progress, and discuss and understand their own approaches and the approaches of their peers in mathematics classrooms. Thus, language plays a vital role in mathematics learning, and demonstrating these competencies in a second (or third) language is a challenging endeavor.
Based on best practices and the authors’ years of research, this guide offers practical approaches that equip K–8 teachers to draw on the strengths of multilingual learners, partner with their families, and position these learners for success. Readers will find the following:
- A focus on multilingual students as leaders
- A strength-based approach that draws on students’ life experiences and cultural backgrounds
- An emphasis on maintaining high expectations for learners’ capacity for mastering rigorous content
- Strategies for representing concepts in different formats
- Stop and Think questions throughout and reflection questions at the end of each chapter
- Try It! implementation activities, student work examples, and classroom transcripts
With case studies and activities that provide a solid foundation for teachers’ growth and exploration, this groundbreaking book will help teachers and teacher educators engage in meaningful, humanized mathematics instruction.
This is a Corwin co-publication.