Supporting teachers to scaffold students’ language for mathematical learning

Mackay, F., Smit, J., Bakker, A., & Keijzer, R. (2021). Supporting teachers to scaffold students’ language for mathematical learning. In A. Fritz, Gürsoy, E., & Herzog, M. (Eds.) Diversity dimensions in mathematics and language learning. Perspectives on culture, education and multilingualism. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH.

Teachers often are unaware of language issues and avoid linguistic challenges intheir classrooms to focus on mathematics. Specifically, teachers typically do not attend to the language students need for mathematical learning, and rarely know how to support the development of subject-specificlanguage required for mathematical learning. Yet students, especially those with low language proficiency, require support from teachers within this subject because shortcomings in subject-specific language can impede their development of mathematical understanding. Despite the importance of improving language-responsive teaching, there is aprofound lack of opportunity for teachers to develop the required teaching practices, especially in mathematics. The required teaching practices integrate language learning and mathematics in a domain-specific way. Although there are some insights into the professional development of secondary school teachers, relatively little is known about how to support primary school teachers in realizing language-responsive teaching. This chapter provides insights into how teachers can be supported within a professional development program (PDP), focusing on genreawareness and scaffolding students’ language for mathematical learning.

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