Scaffolding English language learners' mathematical talk in the context of Calendar Math

Holland W. Banse, Natalia A. Palacios, Eileen G. Merritt, Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Teachers of elementary mathematics face multiple, convergent demands. These demands include supporting the growing population of English language learners (ELLs) and facilitating mathematical discussions across relevant curricular contexts. The authors used a comparative case study to examine how two teachers attempt to facilitate discussions while enacting a Calendar Math curriculum, in Grade 4 classrooms with high concentrations (>50%) of ELLs. The authors found that these teachers' use of Calendar Math did not provide a supportive context for conceptually based discussions. However, teachers did support ELLs in mathematical discussions by including display questions, elaborating student responses, modeling the use of mathematical vocabulary use, and use of self-talk. Teachers differed with regard to how often they elaborated responses, used vocabulary, the amount of teacher speech and the length of lessons. We discuss what these practices may mean for ELLs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017


  • Calendar mathematics
  • English language learners
  • mathematical discussions
  • questioning
  • revoicing
  • upper elementary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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