Title: Language switching and mathematical understanding in Tongan classrooms: an investigation Author: Manu, Sitaniselao Stan
Volume: Directions: Journal of Educational Studies vol.27, no.2, 2005
|Subject: || Education, Bilingual|Tonga|
Language and education|Pacific Area
Abstract: This paper discusses how mathematical understanding and language switching influence each other in a bilingual context. The discussion questions long-held misconceptions about bilingual learning contexts that have overlooked the fact that the nature of bilingual students. mathematical understanding may be similar to monolingual students, and that bilingual students can voluntarily switch languages in the process of talking about, or doing, mathematics. The evidence from a study in Tonga proposes that the effect of Tongan bilingual students. learning and development of understanding in mathematics is largely dependent on the kinds of mathematical images each bilingual student associates with his or her language. The findings from this study are certainly applicable to other similar bilingual situations that involve individuals using words with no direct or precise translation from a dominant western language to an indigenous vernacular.