Original Research

The interplay of language and mathematics

Dorit Patkin
Pythagoras | Vol 32, No 2 | a15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v32i2.15 | © 2011 Dorit Patkin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 July 2011 | Published: 16 November 2011

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This article deals with an intervention unit which focused on the positive effect of integrating poems, stories and fables (the literary genre) for improving mathematical language, fostering the teaching of mathematics language, increasing satisfaction with the process and strengthening the relationship between use of daily language and mathematics language. The study was conducted amongst pre-service mathematics teachers, specialising in literacy activities designed to foster mathematics language. One of the study outcomes was a ‘bank’ of words with double meanings which can result in misguided perceptions and common errors. Another outcome was a pool of ideas for literacy activities in mathematics which can develop wide, integrative activities. Exposure to and awareness of such a bank of words may help mathematics education practitioners to cope with difficulties in mathematics teaching and learning.


language; mathematics language; literacy activities


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