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ERIC Number: EJ781012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0025-5769
Bridging the Language Barrier in Mathematics
Winsor, Matthew S.
Mathematics Teacher, v101 n5 p372-378 Dec 2007
In this article, the author describes how he created an approach that he terms "Mathematics as a Second Language" (MSL) for teaching ELL students mathematics. The main components of MSL are vocabulary activities, journals, group work, and projects. He used MSL to teach prealgebra to ELL students, as well as to native English speakers, for two reasons. First, to compare the mathematical performance of ELL students with that of native English speakers; and, second, he felt that focusing on the mathematical language would be beneficial to all students, regardless of their first language. Several sources of data (pretests and posttests on vocabulary and mathematics, scoring rubrics from journals, and scores from students' mathematics projects) were used to determine the effectiveness of MSL. The author describes how students reacted to the various components of MSL, presents a vocabulary activity that seemed to be effective with students, and explains certain aspects of group work that he found necessary to implement for ELL students to negotiate mathematical situations successfully. (Contains 3 figures.)
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:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A