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What can a Mathematics Teacher Do For the English Language Learner?
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Description of Language Objectives

Language objectives describe how the student will acquire the content knowledge required using the four modalities of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing)

Language objectives

  • explicitly teach the vocabulary required to master the content objective;
  • include a description of the interaction in which students will participate, such as discussions or paired and/or cooperative learning activities;
  • give students the opportunity to use functional language—reading, speaking, listening, and writing—in the math content area;
  • encourage reflection at end of lesson to assess whether or not language objectives were met; and
  • encourage teacher to model the behavior that supports the student expectation.
(Adapted from Texas Education Agency, 2006.)



Examples of Language Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • use mathematical vocabulary to explain orally or in writing the attributes of geometric figures;
  • construct a Venn diagram to contrast and compare one geometric figure with another;
  • create a list of attributes of various figures;
  • explain how to solve an equation to a partner;
  • describe the relationship between radius, diameter, and circumference of a circle;
  • write, in own words, an explanation of the math concept;
  • connect informal language to formal mathematical language in a graphic organizer;
  • write out the formulas that are on the current math TAKS chart;
  • engage in a “Walk About” or “Gallery Walk” activity (“What did you learn today?”); and
  • construct a flip book of vocabulary words with representative diagrams.
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