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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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Danish Data Analysis of the Questionnaire for Teacher Trainers

About you
  1. Eight math teacher trainers and two language teacher trainers answered the questionnaire.
  2. 10 (all of them) speak English, 6 German, 2 French and 1 Spanish.
  3. All math TTs are fairly good at English and intermediate in other languages.
  4. All respondents train teachers for both primary and lower secondary education.
Professional experiences

  1. Two trainers have thought of teaching mathematics in a foreign language.
  2. None of the TTs have tried teaching their students how to teach mathematics in a foreign language.
  3. Two of the math TTs have co-operated with language colleagues in interdisciplinary projects.
  4. The two language TTs and one math TT know about immersion programmes.
  1. The two language TTs find it important to be able to teach in a foreign language because of the possibilities of student and teacher exchange as a means of furthering internationalization. Most of the math TTs find it necessary to be able to read literature in English about the newest research results.
  2. The two language TTs find it very important to develop intercultural communicative competence through mobility. Only two of the math TTs expressed their opinions on what they find most important. They mention the possibility of professional discussions with mathematicians in other countries.
  3. The language TTs fear a decrease in academic standards because the language level does not correspond to the level in mathematics. One of the math TTs mentions the fact that views on the teaching of math differ a lot indifferent cultures. Two think that it will be difficult to relate math to everyday concepts.
  1. All teacher trainers think it is possible to teach mathematics in a foreign language because mathematical concepts are universal.
  2. All math TTs think that it will not be helpful for learning mathematics that it is taught in a foreign language. A few of them mention the linguistic difficulties experienced in classes with many immigrant pupils. At any rate it will be necessary that the teacher is very competent in the language of instruction.
  3. Six of the TTs think that it will be helpful for language learning if mathematics is taught in a foreign language because the learning of a foreign language profits from as much exposure to the foreign language as possible.
  4. Only three of the respondents express their opinions as to which mathematical subjects can ideally be taught in a foreign language. One of them mentions historical mathematical texts which were originally written in a foreign language and two think that geometry is a possibility.
Professional development
  1. Nine out of ten TTs have experienced teaching students together with trainers in another subject during periods with interdisciplinary projects.
  2. Half of the respondents think that math teachers can profit from being able to teach in a foreign language because it will increase their possibilities for participating in teacher exchanges thus enhancing their communicative and intercultural competences. The other half sees no advantages in being able to teach in a foreign language.
  3. Six of the TTs think that language teachers can profit from co-operation with math teachers because it always is useful to co-operate with new partners and because mathematics is a language, too, with its own syntax.
  4. Six of the TTs think it would be useful for professional development to teach maths in a foreign language. However, they find it important the teaching is combined with in-service courses, mobility and participation in conferences.
  5. Some of the TTs think that a change in methodology will be required if the students and the TTs do not have the necessary language skills. Others claim the methods are inherent in the subject; but differences in cultures may require changes.

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This project has been carried out with the support of the European Commission within the framework of the Socrates Programme - Comenius 2.1 Action.
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