Follow-up project: MuM-Multi II - Fostering language in multilingual mathematics classrooms – multilingual strategies of resident and newly arrived emergent bilinguals


Supporting multilingual learners in the mathematics classroom has become even more urgent due to the increased number of newly arrived immigrant students in Germany. However, there is still a lack of teaching approaches and empirical insights into how to integrate multilingual resources in linguistically diverse classrooms, as well as on their possible effects on mathematical understanding. MuM-Multi II aims to develop concepts for and learning theories of multilingual mathematical learning. To this end, it builds on MuM-Multi I in which conditions for successful learning processes in a multilingual teaching intervention on fractions were qualitatively and quantitatively investigated. The follow-up project aims at providing insights into the ways in which different groups of multilingual learners, in particular newly arrived pupils and multilingual students born in Germany, might profit from their multilingual resources being activated for learning. On top of that, the implementation of a teaching intervention is being investigated and developed. Theoretically, the project contributes to understandings of multilingual practices for comprehending mathematical concepts in interdisciplinary ways. It thereby provides a basis for curricular guidelines and teacher professionalisation.

What is investigated?

Working area A
Analysis and comparison of performance and background data of monolingual and multilingual pupils born in Germany and newly arrived immigrant pupils.

Working area B
Initiation of multilingual cooperative group work in small groups for n=21 newly arrived multilinguals. Comparative analysis of discursive multilingual
practices and their effects on mathematical learning processes, using video data from MuM-Multi I of students born in Germany.

Working area C
Investigation and development of regular mathematics classrooms in linguistically diverse settings with-in the framework of design research (Prediger,
Gravemeijer & Confrey 2015). Over three cycles in two classrooms, each lasting 4 hours, different strategies to foster multilingual practices will be integrated and evaluated.

Working area D
Synthesis of results into innovative theoretical contributions for mathematical learning in linguistically diverse classrooms.

Expected outcomes

The main expected outcome will be differential findings on students’ heterogeneous strategies and benefits regarding activation and use of their multilingual repertoires. These findings will inform the development of multilingual teaching approaches for mathematics classrooms in which pupils who grow up mono- or bilingually may work together with newly arrived pupils.

Implications for educational practice