Challenges That English Language Learners at College Level Encounter When Studying Mathematics


A large number of students who are non-native speakers of English are expected to undertake the twofold task of learning a new language and mathematics subject matter simultaneously. Teachers of these English Language Learners, ELLs, are aware of the fact that language plays a major role in learning mathematics. Evidence has shown that ELLs do not perform as well as their counterpart native English speakers in subjects such as mathematics and sciences. The limitations of language lead to limitations of learning mathematical concepts especially when ELLs are expected to be able to understand and solve real-world exercises and problems. The issue becomes more critical and challenging when a non-native speaker of English has only started learning the language at a later stage of his/her educational journey like in college or freshman level and s/he is supposed to study a mathematics course at the same time. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss and suggest two matters in that regard: 1- The collaboration between Mathematics and English Language teachers, through an integrated curricula, and its benefits for ELLs. 2- Possible teaching methods and techniques that Mathematics teachers may use while teaching ELLs.

Author Information
Akram Baddoura, Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE

Paper Information
Conference: IICEDubai2016
Stream: Student Learning, Learner Experiences and Learner Diversity

This paper is part of the IICEDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon