chapter  2
Talking to Learn Mathematics With Understanding
Supporting Academic Literacy in Mathematics for English Learners
ByJudit Moschkovich
Pages 22

This chapter summarizes what is known about the role of oral language in learning mathematics, focusing on why student talk is important for conceptual understanding, what kinds of discussions (whole class or in groups) support learning mathematics with understanding, and ways that teachers can support students in participation in mathematical discussions focused on understanding. A central issue is hearing the mathematical content in students’ everyday ways of talking, building on that everyday language, and supporting more formal ways of talking. Considering how to include a variety of participation structures beyond whole-class discussions, such as pairs and small groups, is essential for supporting English learners in talking to learn mathematics with understanding. Teachers can work in teams, collaborating with mathematics, language, and ESL specialists to design, observe, and polish lessons that support English learners in talking to learn mathematics with understanding.]