Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education

2014 Edition
| Editors: Stephen Lerman

Language Background in Mathematics Education

  • Richard BarwellEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4978-8_86

Definition

Language is ubiquitous – it is everywhere a part of human life. Language is also highly diverse and constantly changing. This diversity includes the languages spoken by different peoples around the world. This diversity also includes social variation within languages, for example, in relation to social class, gender, or race. Language also varies in relation to different activities: the languages of mathematics, of science, of sport, of religious practice, and so on. Finally, language varies in relation to different modes of communication, such as in speech, symbols, written prose, or texting. The term language background can be used to refer to the particular set of national, social, and professional language varieties in which any individual or group of people has experience and expertise. In this entry, language background refers more specifically to the different languages that learners and teachers use.

What does language background have to do with mathematics...

Keywords

Language background Bilingual learners Second language learners Bilingual mathematics classrooms Multilingual mathematics classrooms 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada