Presentation overview [Unfinished !!]


How mathematics is the same as other subjects


Students' task:

Teachers' task:


How mathematics is the different from other subjects


Specific difficulties ESL students have in mathematics




Word problems



See all word problem examples

More on increasing the comprehensibility of worksheets and tests

Suggestions and support


Useful links

This page contains links to websites that expand on some of the issues presented in this workshop:

1. Teaching ESL students - What the mathematics teacher needs to know Introductory advice from the FIS ESL website.
  Basic mathematics vocabulary Interactive quizzes on the FIS ESL website.
  Mathematics as a language Wikipedia article with many links.
  Helping English Language Learners in the Math Classroom Useful information on the problems ESL students have with the language of mathematics.
  Vocabulary considerations for teaching mathematics


An online article from Childhood Education with examples of the different kinds of mathematical vocabulary and how to teach it.
  Teaching Math to English Language Learners Straightforward advice from the Teaching Today website.
  Understanding and solving word problems An online book from Curriculum Associates.
  Access and engagement in mathematics A document from the UK Department of Education. It contains advice on supporting ESL students in the mathematics classroom.
  Teaching Language and Mathematics Suggestions for cooperative activities in the mathematics classroom from the Victorian Association of TESOL and Multicultural Education.
  Framing Impact Factors to Aid Limited-English-Proficient Students in Mathematics and Science A useful overview of all issues concerning ESL students in the mathematics classroom. It includes an account of mathematics in the CALLA ( Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach).
  Table of mathematical symbols


A history of the development of mathematical symbols. Contains a very comprehensive list of symbols and mathematical abbreviations, with links to explanations of the associated concepts. An excellent resource for students and ESL teachers!
  Reforming Mathematics Instruction for ESL Students Suggestions from the Center for Applied linguistics on amending curricula and classroom practices to benefit ESL students.
  The Relationship Between English Language and Mathematics Learning for Non-native Speakers Reports on an investigation to determine to what extent English language proficiency affects mathematical understanding.
  Schema theory A wikipedia article on schemata. Extract: "The importance of schemata for thought cannot be overstated."
  Should Mathematicians and Mathematics Educators be Listening to Cognitive Psychologists? An article from the Mathematical Association of America that includes a discussion of the significance of schema theory for the solution of word problems.

Recommended reading:

Dale, Theresa, and Gilberto Cuevas. Integrating Language and Mathematics in Crandall, J (ed.)
ESL through Content-Area Instruction
. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1987.

Ask your mathematics coordinator or ESL teacher for a copy of the above article.