Mathematics Education Research Journal

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 152–173 | Cite as

Towards a model of language shifts in mathematics learning

  • Anne Chapman


This paper reports on a study of the relationship between language and learning in school mathematics. In an empirical investigation of the spoken language of teacher and learners in a Year 9 mathematics class, discourse analysis of transcripts provides a descriptive account of language practices characteristic of school mathematics. It is argued that learning mathematics requires transformational shifts between “less mathematical” language and “more mathematical” language. A model is proposed where mathematical meanings are constructed within the shift towards increasingly mathematical language.


Mathematics Education School Mathematic Mathematics Classroom Mathematics Lesson Mathematical Language 
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Copyright information

© Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Western AustraliaAustralia

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