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ERIC Number: EJ1177881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
Prospective Teachers' Perspectives on the Use of English in the Solving and Teaching of Mathematics Word Problems--A Brief Cross-Country Survey
Kasule, Daniel; Mapolelo, Dumma
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v17 n3 p265-274 2013
We investigated how prospective primary school teachers from two countries with a common Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) think about word problems, both as a mathematical task and as a teaching task. The question driving the investigation was: if solving mathematics word problems is both a linguistic and a numerical skill, how do these teachers think about mathematics word problems presented to learners not competent in the LoLT? Using the home languages provided by 33 final-year primary school pre-service mathematics teachers from Botswana and Swaziland, we identified three cross-national categories which we then used to analyze questionnaire data for perspectives on teaching word problems presented in English. As expected, findings showed a resigned acceptance to the use of English. Using an inventory of steps in problem solving, we expected respondents' acceptance of the steps as adequate for use with learners not competent in the LoLT. Findings showed that the steps these prospective teachers personally use to solve word problems may impair their teaching of young learners using English to learn mathematics. We use this to identify the important link training must create between prospective teachers' understanding of the LoLT and their future competence to teach primary school mathematics word problems.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Botswana; Swaziland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A