This paper reports on initial findings of an investigation into spatial frame of reference in Iwaidja, an Indigenous Australian language spoken in a multilingual community. It considers spatial language in mathematics where students are being taught and assessed in a language not spoken at home and where their teachers do not speak the students` first languages. It finds that Iwaidja speakers use different frames of reference to English speakers in small scale space. The meanings and scope of key spatial terms in Iwaidja differ from English in ways that appear to be related to preferred frames of reference. It proposes that teacher awareness of these differences can help in mathematics teaching.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) Study 21 Conference|
|Subtitle of host publication||Mathematics Education and Language Diversity|
|Editors||Mamokgethi Setati, Thulisile Nkambule, Leila Goosen|
|Place of Publication||Brazil|
|Publisher||International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||International Commission on Mathematical Instruction - SÃ£o Paulo State, Brazil|
Duration: 16 Sep 2011 → 20 Sep 2011
|Conference||International Commission on Mathematical Instruction|
|Period||16/09/11 → 20/09/11|
Edmonds-Wathen, C. (2011). What comes before? Understanding spatial reference in Iwaidja. In M. Setati, T. Nkambule, & L. Goosen (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) Study 21 Conference: Mathematics Education and Language Diversity (pp. 89-97). International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI).