Discourse competence as important part of academic language proficiency in mathematics classrooms: the case of explaining to learn and learning to explain
Language, which plays a special role for the learning of mathematics, is investigated in this article for the specific discourse practice of explaining during whole-class discussions: On the one hand, explaining is a medium for learning since school cannot be thought of without communication. On the other hand, students at the beginning of secondary school are still in the process of language acquisition and are also still learning how to communicate mathematically. Thus, students are learning to explain in mathema-tics classrooms. This empirical study focuses on the overall question of how discourse competence, participation in classroom discourse, and mathematical learning opportunities are related. For that purpose, the approach of Interactional Discourse Analysis is introduced to mathematics education research and coordinated with the Interactional-Epistemic Perspective from mathematics education. The relevance of explaining is shown theoretically and empirically and a description is given of how limited discourse competence and limited epistemic participation proceed across situations.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10649-018-9830-7
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