# Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools

By Robyn Zevenbergen; Shelley Dole et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Language and
mathematics

Mathematics was long seen as a subject area that remained autonomous from language. This view has been challenged considerably over the years, to the point where it is now recognised that language plays a central role in mathematics. Students need to learn the language of mathematics in order to participate in and learn the discipline. Mathematics has a very particular language and being able to read, interpret and respond in that language is central to being an effective learner.

The language of mathematics

Typically, coming to learn and understand mathematics involves a pairing of written words, oral sounds or abstract symbols with a particular meaning. For example, the word 'ruler' is used to refer to a measuring instrument usually used to measure lengths. Similarly, the '+' sign is used to refer to the addition concept/process where, in most cases, two sets are combined to form a superset. In learning mathematics, students need to learn the particular relationships between signs and meanings. Many new words are introduced, some of which will be familiar, some

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Teaching Mathematics in Primary Schools

• Title Page *
• Foreword v
• Contents vii
• About the Authors xiii
• Chapter 1 - The Changing Face of Primary Mathematics 1
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 2 - Theoretical Foundations for Contemporary Mathematics Education 21
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 3 - Language and Mathematics 33
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 4 - Diversity and Equity 47
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 5 - Planning for Teaching 63
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 6 - Assessment 79
• Further Reading *
• References 105
• Chapter 7 - Working Mathematically 106
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 8 - Early Number 121
• Further Reading *
• References 147
• Chapter 9 - Basic Facts and Mental Computation 149
• Further Reading 174
• References *
• Chapter 10 - Written Algorithms 176
• Further Reading 196
• References *
• Chapter 11 - Rational Number 197
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 12 - Patterns and Algebra 233
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 13 - Measurement 250
• Further Reading *
• References 280
• Chapter 14 - Chance and Data 281
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Chapter 15 - Space 310
• Further Reading *
• References *
• Index 340
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