Teaching mathematics for ESL Students
Teaching mathematics for the students who specialize in learning English is a hard task, yet with an appropriate strategy, an efficient plan can be developed. According to the existing evidence, a number of researches concerning the complexities of teaching mathematics for students who are not native English speakers have been conducted. It must be noted that most studies agree that the most efficient way of teaching mathematics to such students is engaging them in a game.
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In the course of a game, most studies assert, complicated mathematical ideas can be digested easier, and the logic behind the problem-solving process will become obvious to the students. However, further research shows that engaging students in a game are not enough; an efficient leadership plan must also be developed so that the teacher could coordinate the students’ work and, thus, could channel the students’ enthusiasm in the right direction.
Students’ participation is another important issue to focus on; according to the research results, it is important that the teacher should utilize various types of activities to help the students keep the focus on the essential aspects of the lesson and at the same time keep the students invested in the lesson. The given goal can be achieved by working on different lesson activities, making efficient use of different teaching practices, and incorporating the lesson material that is bound to set the students’ key assets into motion, as well as convey the key messages with the help of not only verbal but also non-verbal communication.
First and foremost, the teacher’s talking time should be considered carefully; it must be well balanced with the time that each student has for his/her own personal participation in the learning process. Secondly, it is crucial that the manipulative tools should be used to demonstrate the specifics of the laws of mathematics to ESL students. Finally, the analysis of non-verbal responses should be carried out.
The findings of the conducted research seem to be in chord with the latest theories concerning teaching ESL students mathematics. For example, Curtin makes it clear that models, as well as other examples that ESL students can understand despite the complicated vocabulary, are especially useful to convey the key idea of a specific theory (Curtin, 2005). The importance of using non-verbal elements in the course of teaching students the basic mathematical postulates has also been stressed in a number of studies, such as the study conducted by Gough (2007), where the necessity to incorporate models into the learning process is explained.
Finally, the suggestion to encourage choral responses from students seems a rather promising strategy. As the recent studies show, previously considered redundant, choral answers actually serve an important purpose of increasing the frequency of students’ responses, contributing to the faster understanding of the material and the increase of the students’ engagement (Archer & Hughes, 2011, 133). That being said, the given study follows the latest updates on learning theory and teaching strategies. It seems that the results of the study have turned out rather plausible and promising as the teaching strategies since they are based on both time-tested approaches and the recent updates in the theory of learning.
Recommendations for the study on teaching mathematics
Speaking of the possible recommendations for the sponsor of the study, one must stress that the given research aims at implementing the latest and the most promising innovations based on profound learning theory in private and charter school settings. Therefore, it can be suggested that the supposed sponsor of the study should check the available information concerning the subject of the study, namely, teaching mathematics in private and charter schools, especially among ESL students.
Since similar studies were conducted several times before, it is especially important that the sponsor of the study should realize what the novelty of the given research is, as well as heck what has been done so far for teaching mathematics in private and charter schools (Curtin, 2005). Thus, numerous misunderstandings concerning the subject matter of the given study, as well as its place among similar researches, can be avoided. Another possible recommendation for the sponsor of the given project concerns the alteration of the private and charter schools’ curriculum.
It is crucial to realize that the changes in the manner of teaching mathematics will inevitably lead to the reconsideration of the entire school curriculum and the changes in the lesson plan structure, as well as the teacher’s approach to the students (Archer & Hughes, 2011). Since the given study proves that the teaching strategy that is currently used in charter and private schools to introduce the basic concepts of mathematics to ESL students is not efficient enough, it must be admitted that a new approach must be developed, which the author of the given study provides (Gough, 2007).
The implementation of the given approach, which is crucial for improving the current state of affairs and proving the point, is, on the other hand, rather demanding in terms of finances. However, it is also very promising, which justifies the costs. Once the above-mentioned conditions are kept with, it can be considered that the implementation of the suggestions that the given study has in terms of teaching mathematics in private and charter schools will be much easier to carry out and will doubtlessly lead to impressive results.
Archer, A. L. & Hughes, C. A. (2011). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient training. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Curtin, E. A. (2005). Teaching practices for ESL students. Multicultural Education, 12(3), 22–27.
Gough, J. (2007). Teaching square roots: Conceptual complexity in mathematics language. Australian Senior Mathematics Journal, 21(1), 53–57.