Math is More Than Numbers: Examining Beginning Bilingual Teachers’ Mathematics Teaching Practices and Their Opportunities to Learn

Cathery Yeh


In this article, the author provides results from a 3-year, longitudinal study that examined two novice bilingual teachers’ mathematics teaching practices and their professional opportunities to learn to teach. Primary data sources included videotaped mathematics lessons, teacher interviews, and field notes of their teacher preparation methods courses. Findings revealed that the teachers were oriented toward differing views of learning that shaped how they organized students’ learning of language and mathematics during classroom instruction. While both teachers used similar teaching strategies to support students’ development of mathematics specific literacies, there were variances in how the learners were positioned within the classroom community and how and which repertoires of language practices were available and used during mathematics instruction. The teachers’ differing orientations toward learning are traced to their own professional opportunities to learn to teach. The significance of recognizing both the acquisition and participation metaphors of learning and the development of linguistically and culturally relevant teacher education are discussed.


bilingual education, mathematics education, novice teachers

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