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ERIC Number: ED501117
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 24
Language Use in a Multilingual Mathematics Classroom in South Africa: A Different Perspective
Setati, Mamokgethi
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Paper presented at the 27th International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education Conference Held Jointly with the 25th PME-NA Conference (Honolulu, HI, Jul 13-18, 2003), v4 p151-158
This paper presents an argument that language-use in multilingual mathematics classrooms in South Africa is as much a function of politics as it is of cognition and communication. It draws from a wider study focusing on language practices in intermediate multilingual mathematics classrooms in South Africa. In the study the notion of cultural models (Gee, 1999) is used as an analytic tool to describe and explain the language practices in a multilingual Grade 4 mathematics classroom where learners learn in English, a language that is not their main language. The main argument of the paper is that in a context like South Africa, where mathematics and English have symbolic power, and where procedural discourse dominates over conceptual discourse in mathematics teaching and learning, a practice is forged wherein it is difficult to move mathematics beyond procedural discourse. (Contains 3 footnotes and 1 table.) [For complete proceedings, see ED500860.]
International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. 35 Aandwind Street, Kirstenhof, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa. Tel: +27-21-715-3559; Fax: +27-88-021-715-3559; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa