Mathematics Teacher Educators’ Account of Preparing Pre-service Teachers for Teaching Mathematics in Multilingual Classroom: The Case of South Africa

By Anthony A. Essien.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The study reported in this paper investigated Teacher Educators’ (TE) awareness of teaching in multilingual contexts and what support structures, at the teacher training institutional level, are available to TEs who are preparing pre-service teachers for teaching mathematics in multilingual contexts of learners whose first language is not the language of instruction. 12 TEs from 4 universities in a Province in South Africa were interviewed. Qualitative analysis of the interviews revealed that while Teacher Educators are mostly aware of teaching in a multilingual context, the pre-service teachers are unaware of the challenges ahead involved in teaching mathematics to multilingual learners. The study also revealed that at the university level, there are no structured courses that attend specifically to the needs of pre-service teachers who are being prepared for teaching mathematics in multilingual classrooms of learners who are not yet proficient in the language of instruction. The author argues that even though a course at the university level that attends to teaching mathematics in multilingual classrooms is essential, creating awareness of the multilingual context of teaching and what it entails should be a thread that runs through the entire teacher education (mathematics) curriculum.

Keywords: Multilingual Mathematics Education, Teacher Educators, English Second Language Students, Multilingual Language Awareness

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.33-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 690.344KB).

Dr. Anthony A. Essien

Lecturer, School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Anthony A. Essien is a lecturer of mathematics at the School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is also completing his doctoral studies in Mathematics Education at the same university. His current research interest deals with what pedagogic/discursive practices are needed for lecturers to effectively prepare pre-service teachers to teach mathematics in multilingual mathematics classrooms.


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