Tackling the transition—the English mathematics register and students learning through the medium of Irish
 Máire Ní Ríordáin,
 John O’Donoghue
 … show all 2 hide
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discount
Rent now* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Abstract
The explosion of Gaeilge (Irish)medium primary and secondary schools has played a crucial role in the rebirth of our native language in Ireland. The popularity of attending Gaeilgemedium education is significant, and continues to increase annually (Gaeilscoileanna Teo 2008). However, the majority of Gaeilgeoirí (students who learn through the medium of Gaeilge) face an imminent transition to Englishmedium mathematics education, be it at second or third level education. This paper presents a theoretical model for investigating the transfer between different languages for learning mathematics and for interpreting the findings emerging from the Irish context. Key findings include that Gaeilgeoirí at secondary level experience a disadvantage when assessed through the medium of English; at both transitions Gaeilgeoirí experience difficulties with the syntax, semantics, and mathematics vocabulary of the English mathematics register; and at third level Gaeilgeoirí are unaware of the language difficulties that they are experiencing.
Inside
Within this Article
 Introduction
 Some relevant literature
 Theoretical model
 Methodology
 Findings
 Discussion
 Conclusion
 References
 References
Other actions
 Adetula, L. O. (1989). Solutions of simple word problems by Nigerian children: Language and schooling factors? Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 20(5), 489–497. CrossRef
 Adetula, L. O. (1990). Language factor: Does it affect children’s performance on word problems? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21(4), 351–365. CrossRef
 Adler, J. (1998). A language of teaching dilemmas: Unlocking the complex multilingual secondary mathematics classroom. For the Learning of Mathematics, 18(1), 24–33.
 Adler, J. (2001). Teaching mathematics in multilingual classrooms. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
 Allalouf, A., Hambleton, R., & Sireci, S. (1999). Identifying the causes of translation DIF on verbal items. Journal of Educational Measurement, 36, 185–198. CrossRef
 Austin, J. L., & Howson, A. G. (1979). Language and mathematical education. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 10(2), 161–197. CrossRef
 Baker, C. (2001). Foundations of bilingual education (3rd ed.). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
 Barton, B., & NevilleBarton, P. (2003). Language issues in undergraduate mathematics: A report of two studies. New Zealand Journal of Mathematics (Supplementary Issue), 32, 19–28.
 Barton, B., Chan, R., King, C., & NevilleBarton, P. (2004). The mathematical discourse of advanced undergraduate mathematics. In I. Putt (Ed.), Proceedings of 27th Mathematics Education Research Group Conference (pp. 79–86). Townsville: James Cook University.
 Barton, B., Chan, R., King, C., NevilleBarton, P., & Sneddon, J. (2005). EAL undergraduates learning mathematics. International Journal of Mathematics Education in Science and Technology, 36(7), 721–729. CrossRef
 Barwell, R. (2003). Patterns of attention in the interaction of a primary school mathematics student with English as an additional language. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 53(1), 35–59. CrossRef
 Barwell, R. (Ed.). (2009). Multilingualism in mathematics classrooms—global perspectives. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
 Barwell, R., Barton, B., & Setati, M. (2007). Multilingual issues in mathematics education: introduction. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64(2), 113–119. CrossRef
 Bohlmann, C. (2001). Reading skills and mathematics. Published proceedings of Communications: Third Southern Hemisphere Symposium on Undergraduate Mathematics Teaching, pp. 5–14.
 Brodie, K. (1989). Learning mathematics in a second language. Educational Review, 41(1), 39–53. CrossRef
 Clarkson, P. C. (1991). Language comprehension errors: A further investigation. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 13(2), 24–33.
 Clarkson, P. C. (1992). Language and mathematics: A comparison of bilingual and monolingual students of mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 23(4), 417–429. CrossRef
 Clarkson, P. C. (2007). Australian Vietnamese students learning mathematics: High ability bilinguals and their use of their languages. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64(2), 191–215. CrossRef
 Clarkson, P. C., & Galbraith, P. (1992). Bilingualism and mathematics learning: Another perspective. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 23(1), 34–44. CrossRef
 Clements, M. A., & Lean, G. A. (1980). Influences on mathematical learning in Papua New Guinea: Some crosscultural perspectives  Mathematics Education Centre Report No. 13, Papua New Guinea University of Technology.
 Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual children. Review of Educational Research, 49(2), 222–251.
 Cummins, J. (1980). The construct of language proficiency in bilingual education. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
 Cummins, J. (2000). Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
 Cummins, J. (2002). Bilingual education: basic principles. In J. Dewaele, A. Housen, W. Li (Eds.), Bilingualism: Beyond basic principals, Festschrift in honour of Hugo Baetens Beardsmore, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters: 56–66.
 Dawe, L., & Mulligan, J. (1997). Classroom views of language in mathematics. In B. Doig & J. Lokan (Eds.), Learning from Children: Mathematics from a classroom perspective. Melbourne: ACER.
 Durkin, K., & Shire, B. (1991). Language in mathematical education: Research and practice. Milton Keyes: Open University Press.
 Ellerton, N. F., & Wallace, M. (2004). Language genres in school mathematics. USA: Illinois State University.
 Evans, S. (2007). Differential performance of items in mathematics assessment materials for 7yearold pupils in Englishmedium and Welshmedium versions. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64(2), 145–168. CrossRef
 Frigo, T. (1999). Resources and teaching strategies to support aboriginal children’s numeracy learning—a review of literature. New South Wales: Office of the Board of Studies NSW.
 Galligan, L. (1995). Comparison of Chinese and English mathematical word problems: Consequences of student understanding. In R. P. Hunting, G. E. FitzSimons, P. C. Clarkson, & A. J. Bishop (Eds.), Regional collaboration in mathematics education 1995 (pp. 271–282). Melbourne: Monash University.
 Galligan, L. (2001). Possible effects of EnglishChinese language differences on the processing of mathematical text: A review. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 13(2), 112–132.
 Gaeilscoileanna Teo (2008). Fás ar an nGaelscolaíocht sa Ghalltacht. Retrieved January 10th, 2009 http://www.gaelscoileanna.ie/index.php?page=aims&lang=en.
 Gibbs, W., & Orton, J. (1994). Language and mathematics. In J. Orton & G. Wain (Eds.), Issues in teaching mathematics (pp. 95–116). London: Cassell.
 Gorgorió, N., & Planas, N. (2001). Teaching mathematics in multilingual classrooms. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 47(1), 7–33. CrossRef
 Halliday, M. A. K. (1975). Learning how to mean: Explorations in the development of language. London: Edward Arnold.
 Hater, M. A., & Kane, R. B. (1975). The cloze procedure as a measure of mathematical English. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 6(2), 121–127. CrossRef
 Kazima, M. (2007). Malawian students’meanings for probability vocabulary. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64(2), 169–189. CrossRef
 Latu, V. F. (2005). Language factors that affect mathematics teaching and learning of Pasifika students. In P. Clarkson (Ed.), Building Connections: research, theory and practice, proceedings of the annual MERGA conference 2005, Melbourne: RMIT, 483–490.
 Lean, G. A., Clements, K., & Del Campo, G. (1990). Linguistic and pedagogical factors affecting children’s understanding of arithmetic word problems: a comparative study. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21(2), 165–191. CrossRef
 Lemke, J. L. (1989). Using Language in the Classroom (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
 Lewis, A. B., & Mayer, R. E. (1987). Students’ misconceptions of relational statements in arithmetic word problems. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(4), 363–371. CrossRef
 Lyons, M., Lynch, K., Close, S., Sheerin, E., & Boland, P. (2003). Inside classrooms—the teaching and learning of mathematics in social context. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
 MacGregor, M. E. (1991). Making sense of algebra: Cognitive processes influencing comprehension. Geelong, VIC: Deakin University Press.
 Maxwell, M., & Evans, J. (2000). Edco mathematics 1: Junior certificate. Dublin: The Educational Company of Ireland.
 May, S., Hill, R., Tiakiwai, S. (2004). Bilingual/Immersion Education: Indicators of Good Practice. Final Report to the Ministry of Education, New Zealand: Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, School of Education, University of Waikato.
 Meaney, T. (2005). Mathematics as text. In A. Chonaki & I. M. Christiansen (Eds.), Challenging perspectives on mathematics classroom communication (pp. 109–141). Westport: Information Age.
 Mestre, J. (1986). Teaching problemsolving strategies to bilingual students: What do research results tell us? International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 17(4), 393–401. CrossRef
 Morris, O. D. (2000). Text and tests 1: Mathematics junior certificate. Dublin: The Celtic.
 Naudé, A. (2004). The influence of second language teaching on undergraduate mathematics performance. Masters Dissertation, University of Pretoria.
 NevilleBarton, P., & Barton, B. (2005). The Relationship between English Language and Mathematics Learning for Nonnative Speakers: A TLRI research report for NZCER, Wellington: NZCER. Retrieved October 22, 2005 http://www.tlri.org.nz/index.html.
 Ní Ríordáin, M., & O’Donoghue, J. (2007). Language issues for adults learning mathematics through a second language. Published proceedings of Adults Learning Mathematics14, University of Limerick, June 2007.
 Ní Ríordáin, M., & O’Donoghue, J. (2009). The relationship between performance on mathematical word problems and language proficiency for students learning through the medium of Irish. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 71(1), 43–64. CrossRef
 OECD (2006). Assessing scientific, reading and mathematical literacy: A framework for PISA 2006. Retrieved February 2, 2007 http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/63/35/37464175.pdf.
 Pimm, D. (1987). Speaking mathematically: Communication in mathematics classrooms. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
 Rudner, L. M. (1978). Using standard tests with the hearing impaired: the problem of item bias. Volta Review, 80, 31–40.
 Secada, W. G. (1991). Degree of bilingualism and arithmetic problem solving in Hispanic first graders. The Elementary School Journal, 92(2), 213–231. CrossRef
 Secada, W. G. (1992). Race, ethnicity, social class, language and achievement in mathematics. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.), Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning (pp. 623–660). New York: Macmillan.
 Setati, M. (2005). Mathematics education and language: Policy, research and practice in multilingual South Africa. In R. Vithal, J. Adler, & C. Keitel (Eds.), Researching mathematics education in South Africa: Perspectives, practices and possibilities (pp. 73–109). South Africa: HSRC.
 Setati, M., & Adler, J. (2000). Between languages and discourses: Language practices in primary multilingual mathematics classrooms in South Africa. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 43(3), 243–269. CrossRef
 Sierpinska, A. (1994) Understanding in Mathematics. Studies in Mathematics Education Series: 2, London; Washington, D.C.: The Falmer Press.
 Verschaffel, L., Greer, B., & De Corte, E. (2000). Making sense of word problems. Lisse: Swets and Zeitlinger.
 Yushau, B. and Bokhari, M. (2005). Language and mathematics: a mediational approach to bilingual Arabs. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, (April, 2005). Retrieved November 2nd, 2005 at http://www.cimit.plymouth.ac.uk/journal/yashau.pdf.
 Title
 Tackling the transition—the English mathematics register and students learning through the medium of Irish
 Journal

Mathematics Education Research Journal
Volume 23, Issue 1 , pp 4365
 Cover Date
 20110301
 DOI
 10.1007/s1339401100036
 Print ISSN
 10332170
 Online ISSN
 2211050X
 Publisher
 Springer Netherlands
 Additional Links
 Topics
 Keywords

 Mathematics register
 Educational transitions
 Language mediums for learning mathematics
 Irish context
 Authors

 Máire Ní Ríordáin ^{(1)}
 John O’Donoghue ^{(2)}
 Author Affiliations

 1. St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, Ireland
 2. National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland