Challenges in linguistically and culturally diverse elementary settings with math instruction using learning technologies

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11 Scopus citations


This research effort reports the findings of an empirical study focusing on the ways in which technological tools are implemented specifically in mathematics education in a Title I school. The purpose was to identify the perspectives and actions of the school's mathematics specialist and the multi-graded (grades 2-3) classroom teacher as they attempted to deliver instruction with technology for both English Language Learners1 (ELL) and non-ELL students. Findings showed that a critical factor in access to mathematics education and technology for ELL students in a multi-graded 2-3 classroom in a Title I (K-5) school setting was language. Although potentially powerful technologies - analog (concrete objects) and digital (software) were used, many ELL students could not access the content solely because of language difficulties. Teachers used the concrete objects as modeling tools, to reveal students' thinking, and for communication of foundational mathematics. Conversely, the software used served none of these functions because the available software did not do the kinds of things the manipulatives did, teachers' knowledge of exemplary software was insufficient, the school used an impoverished model of technology integration, and teachers were constrained by the school district's policies of English immersion for ELL students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-143
Number of pages43
JournalUrban Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Elementary grades
  • English immersion settings
  • English language learners
  • Learning technologies
  • Mathematics education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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