Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
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Addressing Language Diversity in Early Years Mathematics: Proposed Classroom Practices through a Live Brief Assessment

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-27, 15:07 authored by Sinem Hizli Alkan, Derya Sahin Ipek
There is a growing emphasis on the role of language in teaching and learning mathematics, most significantly in classrooms with increased language diversity. Consequently, teachers face considerable challenges in accommodating diverse needs and must employ strategies to support all students. It is, therefore, crucial to provide prospective teachers with opportunities to enhance their pedagogical approaches while raising their awareness of the relationship between language and mathematics. In this respect, Live Brief assessments in Higher Education, which involve students working on authentic projects/tasks from a school, may be a promising avenue. This research draws on the 19 Live Brief group presentations prepared by a total of 118 Year 1 prospective primary school teachers, specifically focusing on the language-related challenges faced by a local school in early years mathematics. The data encompassed prospective teachers’ proposed practices, including one-to-one, small group and whole class activities, that aimed to address language diversity. Data analysis was informed by Moschkovich’s three perspectives on the relation between language and teaching and learning mathematics, namely lexicon, register and situated-sociocultural perspectives. While a lexicon perspective was commonly evident in the activities, the manifestation of a situated socio-cultural perspective mainly in the one–to-one activities is noteworthy, given its social and discursive nature. Three themes encapsulated a range of practices suggested in the findings: explicit vocabulary teaching, different strategies of scaffolding and utilising multi-sensory approaches. While the lexicon and register perspectives were commonly evident, the situated socio-cultural perspective was much less commonly manifested in the practices. We offer implications to initial teacher education curriculum, future research and policies about teaching and learning mathematics.



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Education Sciences





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  • School of Education and Social Care Outputs