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Understanding Language/Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity

Resource to Support English Language Learners & Equitable Practice

The purpose of this document is to nudge the field forward by offering support to the next generation of mathematics learners and by challenging persistent assumptions about how to support and develop students’ disciplinary language. Our goal is to provide guidance to mathematics teachers for recognizing and supporting students’ language development processes in the context of mathematical sense making. We provide a framework for organizing strategies and special considerations to support students in learning mathematics practices, content, and language. The framework is intended to help teachers address the specialized academic language demands in math when planning and delivering lessons, including the demands of reading, writing, speaking, listening, conversing, and representing in math (Aguirre & Bunch, 2012). Therefore, while the framework can and should be used to support all students learning mathematics, it is particularly well-suited to meet the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students who are simultaneously learning mathematics while acquiring English.

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