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Speaking Mathematically: The Role of Language and Communication in Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

Speaking Mathematically: The Role of Language and Communication in Teaching and Learning of Mathematics
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Author(s): Kassim Olusanmi Ajayi (Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria) and Abisola O. Lawani (Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria)
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 15
Source title: Handbook of Research on Enhancing Teacher Education with Advanced Instructional Technologies
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Nwachukwu Prince Ololube (Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Nigeria), Peter James Kpolovie (University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria) and Lazarus Ndiku Makewa (University of Eastern Africa, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8162-0.ch017

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Abstract

In this chapter, we evaluated the role of language and communication in teaching and learning of mathematics. Language of instruction is very crucial to effective education at every level because linguistic difficulties have serious effects on children's ability to think, read and write effectively. Learning mathematics and the language of mathematics is a challenge for all students, but it is more challenging for students who have no opportunity to use academic language outside the school, if better performances of African children are to be expected in tests of intellectual ability the importance of mathematics instruction in a language that is meaningful to the student cannot be over emphasized. Teachers should translate back and forth the ordinary and technical language, embedded in the use of mathematics and also support the development of the multi-semiotic mathematics register through oral language that moves from the everyday to the technical mode. Students should be encouraged to produce extended discourse in mathematics classrooms and engage in discussion about the language through which word problems are constructed and practice with the writing to mathematical concepts in authentic ways.

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