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European Commission - Comenius

European Commission - Education and Culture

Project Details

MAking MAThEmatics TEAchers MObile

129543-CP-1-2006-1 -IT-COMENIUS-C21


Project span

Project Coordinator

CAFRE Centro di Ateneo di Formazione e Ricerca Educativa
Università di Pisa

Contact person


Project Partners

(AT) Universität Wien

(CZ) Univerzita Karlova v Praze

(DK) University College Lillebælt, Skårup Seminarium

(FR) Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres de l'Académie de Créteil

Teaching Maths in a Foreign Language
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Czech Data Analysis of the Questionnaire for Teacher Trainers

About you
  1. 10 mathematics teacher trainers and 4 English language teacher trainers responded.
  2. & 3. 9 of the above speak English, 5 German, 4 Russian. None of the respondents were willing to state the level of their language competence.
  3. Out of the 10 mathematics teacher trainers, 7 train for lower secondary level, 3 for both lower and upper secondary levels. All of the English language teacher trainers train for both secondary levels. None of the respondents train for the primary level.
Professional experiences
N.B.: As of question 5, we process the responses of mathematics teacher trainers only (10).
  1. 6 respondents expressed their wish to teach mathematics in a foreign language.
  2. 5 respondents attended a training course for the teaching of mathematics in a foreign language.
  3. None of the respondents stated co-operation between a mathematic teacher trainer and a language teacher trainer.
  4. 8 Yes answers, 1 No answer. 1 did not respond.
  1. 8 Yes answers, 1 No answer. 1 did not respond.
    • the knowledge of target language and culture,
    • practical language use,
    • learning in context,
    • knowledge of specific vocabulary,
    • optimum conditions for Second Language Acquisition,
    • access to foreign resources.
  2. Among the perspectives mentioned in the introduction, the most important aspects were:
  3. The summary of answers: Dual focus means dual difficulty (content, foreign language, culture). The insufficient competence of the foreign language in teachers results in the lack of understanding and learning in students.
    • Reason for: Good preparation for the study stays abroad in future.
    • Reasons against: suitable for selected students at upper secondary level only, easier in other subjects than mathematics.
  4. 7 respondents think it is possible, 2 it is not, 1 did not respond.
    • Summary of conditions:
      Good command of the target language,
      motivation, mathematics has an international language,
      deep understanding, the use of target language in a new context.
  5. 7 Yes answers, 1 No answer. 2 did not respond.
  6. 9 Yes answers, 1 did not respond.
  7. The topics that can ideally be taught in a foreign language: Any topic (no limitations), algebra, geometry, representation, combinatorics, word problems, calculus
Professional development
  1. 4 Yes answers, 4 No answer. 2 did not respond. Subjects taught: physics, geometry – in cooperation with a subject trainer.
  2. 8 Yes answers, 0 No answer. 2 did not respond. Reservations: difficulties in communication, the method is intellectually demanding.
  3. 5 Yes answers, 2 No answer. 3 did not respond. The benefits: teachers’ professional development, improvement of language skills through the knowledge of mathematical terminology.
    • Summary of comments:
      The benefits depend on the teacher’s age and ability to use resources.
      Teacher and students should have the same mother tongue.
  4. 9 Yes answers, 1 did not respond.
    • Summary of comments:
      Problems in communication with students.
      Differences in educational systems.
  5. 2 Yes answers, 3 No answer. 5 did not respond.

N.B.: Questionnaires were administered in person to a group of teacher trainees. While filling in the questionnaires, some refused to respond, saying that they would rather read the answer sheet empty if they are not hundred percent sure about the answer. This should not be understood as the reluctance of the respondents. We feel, it is more an evidence of their serious, responsible approach.

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