Original Research

A model to identify mathematics topics in MXit lingo to provide tutors quick access to supporting documentation

Laurie Butgereit, Reinhardt A. Botha
Pythagoras | Vol 32, No 2 | a59 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v32i2.59 | © 2011 Laurie Butgereit, Reinhardt A. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 September 2011 | Published: 25 November 2011

About the author(s)

Laurie Butgereit, Meraka Institute,Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
Reinhardt A. Botha, Institute for ICT Advancement, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


Dr MathTM is a mobile, online tutoring system where learners can use MXitTM on their mobile phones to receive help with their mathematics homework from volunteer tutors. These conversations between learners and Dr Math are held in MXit lingo. MXit lingo is a heavily abbreviated, English-like language that is evolving between users of mobile phones that communicate using MXit. The Dr Math project has been running since January 2007 and uses volunteer tutors who are mostly university students who readily understand and use MXit lingo. However, due to the large number of simultaneous conversations that the tutors are often involved in and the diversity of topics discussed, it would often be beneficial to provide assistance regarding the mathematics topic to the tutors. This article explains how the μ model identifies the mathematics topic in the conversation. The model identifies appropriate mathematics topics in just over 75% of conversations in a corpus of conversations identified to be about mathematics topics in the school curriculum.


Dr Math; MXit; N-gram


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Crossref Citations

1. Aligning mathematics with tutoring platform topics
Bertram Haskins, Reinhardt A. Botha
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa  vol: 13  issue: 1  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/td.v13i1.428