Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Teaching the language of mathematics at three levels of an English-medium primary school
    This study, situated in a multilingual, English-medium educational context, draws on theory from mathematics and language education to capture teachers’ perspectives on the place of language in their mathematics pedagogy. The benchmark study explored this topic through surveying and interviewing teachers. Additionally, it sought to relate teacher’s views to their practice by focusing on observing three teachers’ mathematics lessons at primary one, three, and five. Findings are that mathematics teachers placed importance on teaching language, being specifically concerned with language as input and comprehension. They taught vocabulary and reading skills in supportive ways explicitly yet differently at the three grade levels. Particularly at the lower levels, teachers contextualized language in the concrete examples employed for mathematics teaching. At all three levels, prominence was given to teaching pupils how to read word problems as well as how to solve them. However, at primary three, a tension was observed between the two aims of teaching mathematical vocabulary and teaching the reading skills for word problems. This paper illustrates the tension and discusses its possible causes.
    Scopus© Citations 1  105  92
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Girls becoming mathematicians: Identity and agency in the figured world of the English-medium primary school
    This paper focusses on the process of learning mathematics in primary school from the perspectives of 62 girls aged seven to eleven. For many of these Singaporean girls, English is not the dominant home language, but they all learn mathematics in English. Despite the fact that achievement in mathematics is high nationally, girls appear to be less confident than boys. Adopting notions of identity and agency at the intersection of language and gender, the paper explores how the girls oriented themselves and others to the figured world of school mathematics as successful or not through their interaction in focus group interviews. While some were confident in their mastery of the subject, for some others, the discipline, its language, and other artefacts, such as model drawing and assessment, restricted and frustrated them. Girls experienced a sense of security in their own fellowship and appreciated considerate pedagogies, such as space for individual agency and for improvisation and expression of language, through which they could achieve understanding and progress.
    WOS© Citations 4Scopus© Citations 4  140  150