ERIC Number: EJ1026045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Reference Count: 17
What's the Big Deal about Vocabulary?
Dunston, Pamela J.; Tyminski, Andrew M.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v19 n1 p38-45 Aug 2013
This article describes techniques for teaching mathematics terminology that allow adolescents to expand their abstract reasoning ability and move beyond operations into problem solving. Mathematics vocabulary instruction is particularly important in the middle grades because this is when "the serious development of the language of mathematics begins" and when mathematical learning focuses on numbers' multiplicative structures and relationships. It is important to address vocabulary deliberately in math class, for, if not taught with its particular requirements in mind, then computation will move to the forefront, and vocabulary will lose its emphasis. The authors present vocabulary teaching strategies particularly beneficial to English language learners because they require students to think deeply, determine relationships, and connect new concepts and words to what they already know. In addition, these strategies visually convey meaning without using complex language or complicated sentence structure. The authors conclude with two points: (1) the ability to speak the language of mathematics is essential to student understanding; and (2) the successful use of the vocabulary strategies will require teachers to match instructional content with the appropriate teaching strategy.
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Early Adolescents, Mathematics Instruction, Secondary School Mathematics, Vocabulary Development, English Language Learners, Language Usage, Teaching Methods, Mathematics Skills, Mathematical Concepts, Instructional Materials
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A