## Abstract

In this study, the author represented what matters to bilingual students in their everyday lives—namely bilingualism and everyday experiences—in school-based mathematical problems. Solving problems in pairs, students demonstrated different patterns of organizing and coordinating talk across problem contexts and across languages. Because these patterns bear consequences for how bilinguals experience mathematics learning, the author takes these patterns as the basis to argue that mathematics education for bilingual students should capitalize on bilingualism and experiences as cognitive resources.

This is a preview of subscription content,

to check access.## References

Abreu, G., Bishop, A., & Presmeg, N. (2002). Mathematics learners in transition. In G. de Abreu, A. Bishop, & N. Presmeg (Eds.),

*Transitions between contexts of mathematical practices*(pp. 7–22). Boston, MA: Kluwer.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.Adler, J. (2001).

*Teaching mathematics in multilingual classrooms*. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.Austin, J. (1962).

*How to do things with words*. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Barta, J., Sánchez, L., & Barta, J. (2009). Math in the milpa.

*Teaching Children Mathematics, 16*(2), 90–97.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*, 35–59.Boaler, J. (1998). Open and closed mathematics: Students experiences and understanding.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 29*(1), 41–62.Brenner, M. (1998a). Adding cognition to the formula of culturally relevant instruction in mathematics.

*Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 29*(2), 214–244.Brenner, M. (1998b). Development of mathematical communication in problem solving groups by language minority students.

*Bilingual Research Journal, 22*(2, 3 & 4), 149–175.Brenner, M. (2002). Everyday problem solving and curriculum implementation: An invitation to try pizza. In M. E. Brenner & J. N. Moschkovich (Eds.),

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph, vol. 11, Everyday and academic mathematics in the classroom*(pp. 63–92). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning.

*Educational Researcher, 18*(1), 32–42.Bruner, J. (1990).

*Acts of meaning*. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Cameron, A., Hersch, S. B., & Fosnot, C. T. (2005).

*Exploring soda machines, grades 3–5: A context for division: Facilitator’s guide*. Portsmouth, UK: Heinemann.Carraher, T., Carraher, D. W., & Schliemann, A. D. (1985). Mathematics in the streets and in the school.

*British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 3*, 21–29.Carraher, D., & Schliemann, A. (2002). Is everyday mathematics truly relevant to mathematics education?

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Monographs, 11*, 131–153.Carraher, D., & Schliemann, A. (2007). Early algebra and algebraic reasoning. In F. K. Lester (Ed.),

*Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 669–705). Charlotte, NC: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Cicero, A. M., Fuson, K. C., & Allexsaht-Snider, M. (1999). Mathematizing children’s stories, helping children solve word problems, and supporting parental involvement in math learning. In L. Ortiz-Franco, N. Hernandez, & Y. DeLa Cruz (Eds.),

*Changing the faces of mathematics: Perspectives on Latinos*(pp. 156–167). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Civil, M. (1995).

*Bringing the mathematics to the foreground*. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.Civil, M. (2002a). Culture and mathematics: A community approach.

*Journal of Intercultural Studies, 23*, 133–148.Civil, M. (2002b). Everyday mathematics, mathematicians’ mathematics, and school mathematics: Can we bring them together? In M. E. Brenner & J. N. Moschkovich (Eds.),

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph, Vol. 11, Everyday and academic mathematics in the classroom*(pp. 40–62). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Civil, M., & Khan, L. (2001). Mathematics instruction developed from a garden theme.

*Teaching Children Mathematics, 7*(7), 400–405.Clarkson, P. C. (2006). Australian Vietnamese students learning mathematics: High ability bilinguals and their use of their languages.

*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64*, 191–215.Cobb, P. (2007). Putting philosophy to work: Coping with multiple theoretical perspectives. In F. K. Lester (Ed.),

*Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 3–38). Charlotte, NC: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.Cobb, P. (2004). Mathematics, literacies, and identity.

*Reading Research Quarterly, 39*(3), 333–337.Collins, A. (1992). Portfolios for science education: Issues in purpose, structure, and authenticity.

*Science & Education, 76*, 451–463.Cuevas, G. J. (1984). Mathematical learning in English as a second language.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 15*, 134–144.De Corte, E., & Verschaffel, L. (1985). Beginning first graders’ initial representations of arithmetic word problems.

*Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 4*, 3–21.Dominguez, H. (2008).

*The discourse of mathematization: Bilingual students reinventing mathematics and themselves as mathematical thinkers*. Dissertation (UMI Database).Elbers, E., & de Haan, M. (2005). The construction of word meanings in a multicultural classroom. Mediational tools in peer collaboration during mathematics lessons.

*European Journal of Psychology of Education, 20*(1), 45–59.Freudenthal, H. (1991).

*Revisiting mathematics Education: China lectures*. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.González, N., Andrade, R., Civil, M., & Moll, L. (2001). Bridging funds of distributed knowledge: Creating zones of practices in mathematics.

*Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 6*(1&2), 115–132.González, N., Moll, L., & Amanti, C. (2005). Introduction: Theorizing practices. In N. González, L. C. Moll, & C. Amanti (Eds.),

*Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms*(pp. 1–24). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Gravemeijer, K. P. E. (1994).

*Developing realistic mathematics education*. Utrecht, The Netherlands. Freudenthal Institute, University of Utrecht.Greeno, J. G. (1997). On claims that answer the wrong questions.

*Educational Researcher, 26*(1), 5–17.Grosjean, F. O. (1999). The bilingual’s language modes. In J. L. Nicole (Ed.),

*One mind, two languages: Bilingual language processing*. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Gutierrez, K. D., & Rogoff, B. (2003). Cultural ways of learning: Individual traits or repertoires of practice.

*Educational Researcher, 32*(5), 19–25.Halliday, M. A. K. (1978).

*Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning*. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press.Hiebert, J., & Grouws, D. A. (2007). The effects of classroom mathematics teaching on students’ learning. In F. K. Lester (Ed.),

*Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 371–404). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.Khisty, L. L. (1995). Making inequality: Issues of language and meaning in mathematics teaching with Hispanic students. In W. Secada, E. Fennema, & L. B. Adajian (Eds.),

*New directions for equity in mathematics education*(pp. 279–297). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Khisty, L. L., & Chval, K. (2002). Pedagogic discourse and equity in mathematics: When teachers’ talk matters.

*Mathematics Education Research Journal, 14*, 154–168.Lampert, M. (2001).

*Teaching problems and the problems of teaching*. New Haven, CT: Yale Press.Lave, J. (1988).

*Cognition in practice: Mind, mathematics, and culture in everyday life*. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Lave, J., Murtaugh, M., & de la Rocha, O. (1984). The dialectic of arithmetic in grocery shopping. In B. Rogoff & J. Lave (Eds.),

*Everyday cognition: Its development in social context*(pp. 67–94). Cambridge, UK: Harvard University Press.Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991).

*Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation*. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Lesh, R., Hoover, M., Hole, B., Kelly, A., & Post, T. (2000). Principles for developing thought revealing activities for students and teachers. In A. E. Kelly & R. A. Lesh (Eds.),

*Handbook of research design in mathematics and science education*(pp. 591–645). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Lipka, J. (1994). Culturally negotiated schooling: Toward a Yup’ik mathematics.

*Journal of American Indian Studies, 33*(3), 1–12.Lipka, J. (1998).

*Transforming the culture of schools: Yup’ik Eskimo examples*. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Lipka, J. (2002).

*Schooling for self-determination: Research on the effects of including native language and culture in the schools*. ERIC Digest 459989.Lipka, J. (2005). Math in a cultural context: Two case studies of a successful culturally based math project.

*Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 36*(4), 367–385.Masingila, J. (1994). Mathematics practice in carpet laying.

*Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 25*(4), 430–462.Masingila, J. (2002). Examining students’ perceptions of their everyday mathematics practice.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Monographs, 1*, 30–391.Mercer, N. (1995).

*The guided construction of knowledge: Talk among teachers and learners*. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Moschkovich, J. (1999). Supporting the participation of English language learners in mathematical discussions.

*For the Learning of Mathematics, 19*, 11–19.Moschkovich, J. (2005). Using two languages when learning mathematics.

*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 64*, 121–144.Nasir, N. S., Hand, V., & Taylor, E. V. (2008). Culture and mathematics in school: Boundaries between ‘cultural’ and ‘domain’ knowledge in the mathematics classroom and beyond.

*Review of Research in Education, 32*, 187–240.National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000).

*Principles and standards for school mathematics*. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from www.nctm.org.National Research Council. (2002). Adding it up: Helping children learn mathematics. In J. Kilpatrick, J. Swafford, & B. Findell (Eds.), Mathematics Learning Study Committee, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Resnick, L. B. (1987). Learning in and out of school.

*Educational Researcher, 16*(9), 13–20.Rich, A. (1986).

*Invisibility in academe. In Blood, bread & poetry: Selected prose, 1979–1985*(p. 199). New York, NC: W.W. Norton & Co.Sacks, H. (1992a). In G. Jefferson (Ed.),

*Lectures on conversation, vol I*. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Sacks, H. (1992b). In G. Jefferson (Ed.),

*Lectures on conversation*(Vol. II). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Saxe, G. B. (1988). Candy selling and math learning.

*Educational Researcher, 17*(6), 14–21.Saxe, G. B. (1991).

*From the field to the classroom: Studies in mathematical understanding*. Paper presented at the RAC-SIG-RME Research Pre-session of the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, New Orleans, LA.Schoenfeld, A. H. (1998). Toward a theory of teaching in context.

*Issues in Education, 1*, 1–94.Secada, W. G. (1991). Degree of bilingualism and arithmetic problem solvin in Hispanic first graders.

*The Elementary School Journal, 92*(2), 213–231.Setati, M. (2005). Teaching mathematics in primary multilingual classrooms.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 36*(5), 447–466.Sfard, A., Nesher, P., Streefland, L., Cobb, P., & Mason, J. (1998). Learning mathematics through conversations: Is it as good as they say?

*For the Learning of Mathematics, 18*(1), 41–51.Sherin, M. G., Louis, D., & Mendez, E. P. (2000). Students’ building on one another’s mathematical ideas.

*Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 6*(3), 186–190.Simic-Muller, K., Turner, E., & Varley, M. (2009). Math club problem posing.

*Teaching Children Mathematics, 16*(4), 207–212.Streefland, L. (1991).

*Fractions in realistic mathematics education: A paradigm of developmental research*. Dordrecht, UK: Kluwer.Suchman, L. (1987).

*Plans and situated actions: The problem of human-machine interaction*. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency and collaboration in advanced language proficiency. In H. Byrnes (Ed.),

*Advanced language learning: The contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky*(pp. 95–108). London, UK: Continuum.Taylor, E. V. (2004).

*Engagement in currency exchange as support for multi-unit understanding in African-American children*. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.Treffers, A. (1987).

*Three dimensions: A model of goal and theory description in mathematics education: The Wiskobas project*. Dordrecht, UK: Reidel.Turner, E., Dominguez, H., Maldonado, L., & Empson, S. (2007). Instructional practices that facilitate English language learners’ participation in mathematical discussion where ideas travel. In D. L. Ball (Chair),

*The travel of ideas: New perspectives on analyzing mathematics in discussion-rich classrooms.*Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.Turner, E., Dominguez, H., Maldonado, L., & Empson, S. (2010). English learners’ participation in mathematical discussions: Shifting positionings, dynamic Identities.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 41*, (in press).Valenzuela, A. (1999).

*Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring*. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Valverde, L. A. (1984). Underachievement and underrepresentation of Hispanics in mathematics and mathematics-related careers.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 15*, 123–133.Vergnaud, G. (1996). The theory of conceptual fields. In L. P. Steffe, P. Nesher, P. Cobb, G. A. Goldin, & B. Greer (Eds.),

*Theories of mathematical learning*(pp. 219–239). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Young, M. F. (1993). Instructional design for situated learning.

*Educational Technology Research and Development, 41*(1), 43–58.Zentella, A. C. (1997).

*Growing up bilingual: Puerto Rican children in New York*. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

## Author information

### Authors and Affiliations

### Corresponding author

## Rights and permissions

## About this article

### Cite this article

Domínguez, H. Using what matters to students in bilingual mathematics problems.
*Educ Stud Math* **76**, 305–328 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-010-9284-z

Published:

Issue Date:

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-010-9284-z