Judit Moschkovich met our first-year “Introduction to the Math Ed World” course. She told us that the first step in teaching social justice has to be teaching for understanding.
What are goals of teacher education for teachers who will be teaching English Language Learners (ELL)?
More important than language proficiency is the mathematical reasoning. Even for native speakers, being articulate is hard! You may think they (and you) are saying things in a mathematical way, but they may not be. Move away from simple views of what mathematics language is: It’s not just a list of definitions or vocabulary. Vocabulary is important too, but the best way to learn vocabulary is to use the words with purpose not just “give me a sentence using the word divisor”. Learners also need to practice the complexity of language through exploratory talk (with peers) and expository talk (in presentations). We also need to teach children to read: Math textbooks and word problems are different kinds of reading that we need to teach the children to do. Remember that everyday context and objects can be used for reasoning, not obstacles.