Original Research

Introducing discussion into multilingual mathematics classrooms: An issue of code switching? 

Lyn Webb, Paul Webb
Pythagoras | Issue 67 | a71 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/pythagoras.v0i67.71 | © 2008 Lyn Webb, Paul Webb | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 October 2008 | Published: 11 October 2008

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Lyn Webb, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth , South Africa
Paul Webb, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth , South Africa

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Abstract

The Department of Education in South Africa advocates collaborative and constructivist learning; however, observations indicate that little discussion occurs in most multilingual mathematics classes. In this paper we draw on a pilot study set in the Eastern Cape where teachers were introduced to the theory and practice of exploratory talk, and then tasked to perform an action research project on introducing discussion in their own multilingual mathematics classrooms. The results of the study suggest some successes in terms of teachers initiating exploratory talk and highlight the fact that these successes were only achieved where code switching between English and isiXhosa formed an integral part of the process.

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