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ESL for Math Teachers

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Seth Warncke

Joined: 06 Mar 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Ho Chi Minh City

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject: ESL for Math Teachers Reply with quote

As many of you know, Vietnam is trying to require its math teachers to teach in English. The books are already bilingual. My student is currently a math and IT teacher and has been doing so for something like a decade. She knows her math, but doesn't know her English.

Whenever I do a search, I get info on teaching something like content-based courses where math AND English are being taught. Moreover, it is usually for children.

Right now, we're going through a textbook she likes and just working on pronunciation and vocabulary as we go. I'm wondering if there's a better way. The big thing is definitely vocabulary and symbols, but we also have to string together sentences sometimes (i.e. there is a word problem in the book that would require explanation for students to understand).

Has anyone else gone through this? Did you just go through a textbook like we are doing? Perhaps someone who has experiencing teaching English for specific purposes, even if not for math teachers, might have some input.
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Joined: 10 Oct 2016
Posts: 2
Location: Dallas, TX

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

indeed there are loads of opinions on the topic. Still I personally love ideas by Bill Zahner, an assistant professor of mathematics education at San Diego State University. He describes 8 research-based suggestions but out of those 8 I love these three the most -- maintain a focus on mathematical concepts, ask reasoning questions, and simplify language. Also I think it would be better if you use not bilingual books but only those written in English, this way your student won't be tempted to look at the translation immediately and she will start making parallels between concepts and words. Try getting math textbooks published in US, something like this No-Nonsense Algebra: Part of the Mastering Essential Math Skills Series
And here are some useful links: Education Week Teacher, fluentu official webpage, homework official webpage and teacherhub official webpage
Good luck!!
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