Written for support staff, this book offers tested numeracy strategies for working with students and provides tools for expanding a staff member’s own subject knowledge.

Language and Mathematics

Language and mathematics

This chapter will help you to:

  • recognise the role of language in mathematics
  • identify difficulties that children have with mathematical language
  • appreciate the importance of spoken, as well as written, language in mathematics

For many adults the idea that language has a large role in mathematics may seem quite odd. They may have memories of sitting silently in rows while completing pages of ‘sums’ neatly lined up in columns. However, this is not the case today. The National Numeracy Strategy (DfEE, 1999) promotes the use of language in the different parts of the daily mathematics lesson. From the inception of the NNS there was a mathematical vocabulary book to accompany the framework which suggested how language, and especially questioning, could be used. Since then, ...

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