Mathematics, the Common Core, and Language

Judit Moschkovich

This paper makes recommendations for developing mathematics instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The recommendations can guide teachers, curriculum developers, and teacher educators as they develop their own ways of supporting mathematical reasoning and sense-making for ELLs.

Some instructional recommendations discussed in the paper include:

  1. Focus on ELL students’ mathematical reasoning, not the correctness of their mathematical language use.
  2. Shift to a focus on mathematical discourse practices; move away from simplified views of language.
  3. Support ELL students as they engage in complex mathematical language.
  4. Use ELL students’ language and experiences as resources.
  5. Provide professional development to enhance teachers’ awareness of ways to support ELs as they develop both language and mathematical knowledge.

Judit Moschkovitch: ELL and Common Core Math


Judit Moschkovich talks about teaching math for conceptual understanding with ELL students. ELLs may not speak like mathematicians right away, but teachers can build on the mathematical reasoning they’re already doing.

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