Impact of differing grammatical structures in mathematics teaching and learning. (English)

Barwell, Richard (ed.) et al., Mathematics education and language diversity. The 21st ICMI study. Cham: Springer (ISBN 978-3-319-14510-5/hbk; 978-3-319-14511-2/ebook). New ICMI Study Series, 23-46 (2016).

Summary: This chapter investigates issues regarding the different grammatical structures of languages used in mathematics learning, both languages of instruction and other languages that are used in classrooms. Mathematics is understood to operate in and through language, and different languages offer different resources with which to do this. This chapter considers the nature of the mathematics that is made possible by the linguistic expressions of different languages. We examine features of the mathematics register and the development of the mathematics register for a few selected languages. We discuss linguistic differences that occur in the key mathematical areas of logic, reasoning, space and number, in a general manner, and with specific examples from languages from different parts of the world. We then offer suggestions for how teachers and researchers in multilingual contexts can comprehend and utilise grammatical differences among the languages in their context.