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ERIC Number: EJ1055383
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Linguistic Challenges in the Mathematical Register for EFL Learners: Linguistic and Multimodal Strategies to Help Learners Tackle Mathematics Word Problems
Chan, Simon
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v18 n3 p306-318 2015
In learning mathematics through English, one of the major challenges facing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners is understanding the language used to present word problems in mathematics texts. Without comprehending such language, learners are not able to carry out the targeted calculations no matter how familiar they are with the mathematical concepts behind. As many researchers have pointed out, distinctive combinations of certain vocabulary and grammatical structures are often found in the mathematical register. It is therefore important for teachers to discover, analyse and provide guidance on how learners can best tackle those linguistic challenges. This paper attempts to achieve this goal by first identifying and classifying, from word problem examples, the potential linguistic challenges at the word, phrase, clause and discourse levels. It then proceeds to suggest specific linguistic and multimodal strategies with good potential to help EFL learners overcome such challenges, with reference to the relevant literature and examples. It concludes by reiterating the importance of mathematics teachers' active engagement with the language used in word problems and suggesting possible collaboration between them and English language teachers in promoting EFL learners' awareness of the language of mathematics.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A