Research has suggested that although mathematics is a universal language, the notation, algorithms, and language in which it is taught varies from country to country. The literature has addressed the challenges associated with understanding the language of mathematics in English. Variable is a topic of mathematics where the literature has documented students' difficulty understanding the language of mathematics. Part of that difficulty is attributed to the fact that mathematics and English each have their own register and at times the differences in these registers conflict. This study examined the introduction and use of variable in the middle school textbooks of three English speaking countries and three Spanish speaking countries. The results of this study are that textbooks rarely make any attempt to use bridging language, and do not explain to students how they are using variable when they use it. The results of this study also show that the language used to talk about variable is similar English (Spanish) speaking countries.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Mathematics Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bertoch, Kailie Ann, "Language Use in Mathematics Textbooks Written in English and Spanish" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4347.
bridging registry, English registry, mathematics registry, variable