Essay on Teaching And Learning Mathematics Through English

1760 Words Dec 10th, 2015 null Page
Teaching and Learning Mathematics through English
Underestimating the usefulness of language in mathematical training is unrealistic. Using currently developed literature is important to ensure students understand mathematical concepts. Looking back into the history of teaching mathematics, we notice that literature and language have a role to play in explaining concepts and procedures. Adequate use of English in a mathematics class turns the subject from a mechanical process to relevant and meaningful ideas. These ideas, in turn, help broaden the minds of students so they can develop positive cultural and sociopolitical identities. In instances where students have a language barrier, either with the teacher or the primary language of instruction itself, learning becomes difficult.
Language barriers come in different forms, but they affect students from countries outside America, immigrants or culturally different minority groups. Valencia and Black (83) are of the opinion that the greatest problem that minority groups (their study was on Mexican Americans) fail in school is “deficit thinking”. They define it to be the notion people have those individuals of color from low-SES backgrounds fail in their education because of an internal deficit. People who use this way of thinking will always blame the victim when they fail instead of finding out if there are external factors that contribute to the low situation.
Inside a mathematics class, language is the tool that translates…

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