Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(9), pp. 1456-1464  September 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper 

Discourse practices produced in preparing mathematics teacher educators for a multilingual classroom: a critical discourse perspective

Nancy Chitera

University of Malawi - The Polytechnic


Received 16 February, 2011; Accepted 22 June, 2011


In this study, we investigated how mathematics teacher educators in initial teacher training colleges prepare the student teachers to teach mathematics in multilingual classrooms in Malawi. In comparison with other studies, most research places more emphasis on school mathematics teaching and learning, the challenges being faced by the mathematics teachers. To further knowledge in the area of multilingualism in mathematics education, this research article examines how mathematics teacher educators train their student teachers in a college mathematics classroom. In particular, it examines the discourse practices that mathematics teacher educators produce as they train student teachers who are going to teach mathematics in multilingual classroom. The study subjects were 4 mathematics teacher educators from two different initial teacher training colleges in Malawi. The research instruments included classroom observations, pre-observation and reflective interviews and focus group discussions. Data were collected during their residential sessions in January and February 2007. Using three levels of critical discourse analysis, the research findings indicate that there were three common discourse practices that were displayed which are IRE, traditional lecturing and group discussions. It is also found that the IRE and traditional lecturing discourse practices went together with directive discourses for procedural control.  The study recommends that change needs to be done in preparation of student teachers who are going to teach mathematics in multilingual classrooms. In-service workshops for mathematics teacher educators could be adopted mainly to sensitize them how student teachers can be prepared to teach mathematics in multilingual classrooms.



Key words: Mathematics teacher educators, initial teacher training colleges, student teachers, college mathematics classroom, multilingual classrooms, IRE, traditional lecturing, group discussions, directive discourse.


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