First published in 1987, this book examines mathematics school teaching from the perspective that it is a language — arguing that this can illuminate many events that occur in classes and highlight issues that may not have previously seemed important. The central concern is with the processes of communication as they are shaped by school conventions and the fact that it is mathematics being discussed. Speaking, listening, writing and reading are examined and analysed with the first half focusing on verbal interactions and the second half examining aspects of pupil written mathematics. Also explored is the nature of the mathematical writing system itself and how pupils gain access to it.
General editor’s preface; Acknowledgments; Preface; Chapter 1 Mathematics as a language? Chapter 2 Pupils’ mathematical talk Chapter 3 Overt and covert classroom communication Chapter 4 The mathematics register Chapter 5 Pupils’ written mathematical records Chapter 6 Some features of the mathematical writing system Chapter 7 The syntax of written mathematical forms Chapter 8 Reading, writing and meta-linguistics Chapter 9 Mathematics as a language; Bibliography; Index
First published between 1985 and 1987, this set of books attempts to tackle some of the complex issues implied by the title Language, Education and Society. For example how is language related to learning? Or to intelligence? Do regional and social accents and dialects matter? What is meant by standard English? Do immigrant children require special language provision? Why are there so many adult illiterates in Britain and the USA? Although the importance of language to education is agreed there is still a lot to learn about how language is related to either to educational success or to intelligence and thinking — both fields to which this collection contributes valuable research.
Some of the specific topics the covered by the wide-ranging and insightful research contained in this series include: an analysis of the school teaching of mathematics from the perspective of mathematics as a language — principally how the processes of communication in a maths classroom are shaped by school conventions and the fact that it is mathematics under discussion; an examination of the changing patterns in English usage and style, especially written usage — focusing on questions of syntax and punctuation — and how this relates to speech and the value of usage as a social act; an exploration of the history and impact of mass literacy on industrialised societies, how this differs from traditional oral culture, and the effect of a culture where most people rely on complex combinations of oral and literate communication on a sizable sub-literate minority; an investigation into which languages are in widespread use among children and adults in England, the patterns of language use in different social contexts, the teaching of community languages inside and outside of mainstream schools, and the educational implications of this linguistic diversity for all children. This set will be of interest to educational researchers, sociologists and students of sociolinguistics.