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ERIC Number: EJ813395
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Equity for English Language Learners in Mathematics Classrooms
Borgioli, Gina M.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v15 n3 p185-191 Oct 2008
Although English Language Learners (ELLs) quickly acquire basic interpersonal communication skills, most struggle for several years with reading and writing academic content in English. In particular, in English-only mathematics classes, children are likely to have difficulty reading and comprehending text, reading word problems, and giving written or oral justifications of their problem-solving strategies in English. Mathematics teachers who purposefully attend to equity issues for ELLs will consciously embed language objectives and literacy activities within mathematics content objectives in order to assist ELLs in learning language as they learn mathematics. By consciously pursuing equity as an objective, mathematics teachers can create nurturing environments in which ELLs can be successful at both learning mathematics with understanding and at becoming more proficient in English without sacrificing their home language or culture. This article provides mathematics teachers with a framework of guiding questions to enable purposeful practice toward classroom equity, especially for ELLs. The questions are grounded in the mathematics and second language education literatures. They supplement Carpenter and Lehrer's (1999) three critical dimensions of mathematics instruction that promote understanding (tasks, tools, and classroom norms) with practical suggestions for attending to issues of equity for ELLs. (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: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A