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Teaching strategies in language-diverse mathematics classes: a case study

This study was located in a mathematics classroom in a township school in Port Elizabeth. After an intervention designed to raise awareness of dialogic teaching practices, three teachers introduced exploratory talk, with varying degrees of success, into their mathematics classrooms. Because English, the language of teaching and learning, was not the main language of either teacher or pupils, the emphasis was on integrating isiXhosa into the lessons through exploratory talk in order to build a community of practice. Research has shown that the introduction of dialogue, in the form of exploratory talk, enhances mathematical reasoning skills; however, lack of English competence restricts the development of mathematical discourse among pupils. Through classroom observations and interviews, complementary teaching strategies used by one of the teachers were identified as appearing to improve pupils' mathematical skills. The uses of group work, judicious questioning, implementation of second language teaching techniques, and the development of a positive classroom climate echo Wenger’s (2011) prerequisites for a community of practice: domain, community, and practice. Keywords: Strategies; Mathematics; Dialogue; Community of Practice.

Uploaded by: Paul Webb
Author: Webb, Lyn
Co-author: Webb, Paul | ORCID:
Institution: Nelson Mandela University | Centre: DIGI-FACE
Type: Journal article | English | Peer Reviewed
Subjects: Education

Published: Educational Research for Social Change, ISSN: 2221-4070 | Volume 2, no. 2 | Port Elizabeth: Educational Research for Social Change,
Date: 2013 | Pages: 31-42
Copyright: Lyn Webb and Paul Webb | License: Open Access