Every teacher is a language teacher. In other words, language is the lifeblood of learning in many content areas. The K-12 mathematics curriculum has a language for describing “mathematical practices” that focuses primarily on mathematical understanding and reasoning. In classroom situations where English-language learners are involved, the tasks can be immensely complex. Addressing issues of language in content learning and teaching these is crucial. This lecture will attempt to share and contribute to the above discussion by looking at a particular bilingual situation where young mathematics students switch or alternate frequently between two languages during problem-solving discussions. In this type of bilingual situation, students learn mathematics in a dominant second language that has no direct or precise translation to their own native language. If teachers have a thorough understanding of how language and content interact within a specific content area, they are better equipped to make well-informed decisions about learning and teaching. As found with the Tongan bilingual students, if these students are allowed the flexibility of language switching, and thus access to appropriate terms and images in either language, they can be declared in no way mathematically disadvantaged from their monolingual counterparts.
Dr. Stan Manu has been with the UFV Mathematics and Statistics department January 2011. He is originally from the South Pacific island nation of Tonga, where he did his undergrad in maths and physics. He did his master’s at the University of Idaho, and his PhD in mathematics education at UBC. His research interests are in the areas of curriculum development, assessment, and teaching and learning of mathematics, and the use of language(s) in mathematics particularly within a bilingual context.
It is well established and generally recognized that temperature has a profound effect on chemical reactions. Every Grade 12 chemistry student knows that reaction rates double, triple, or even quadruple with every 10 degrees increase in temperature; it does not require high school chemistry to know that food is safer if kept in coolers or refrigerators. Chemical effects of high pressures are far less known, even to professional chemists. However, although more subtle, these effects are no less profound than the effects of temperature. To people not familiar with them, some of these effects may appear quite weird and unusual. For example, exposed to very high pressures, typical non-metals, such as hydrogen or nitrogen, become metals, like iron or mercury. In the UFV Molecular Modeling Lab, we use methods of computational chemistry to predict chemical effects of high pressures and gauge them quantitatively.
Dr. Noham Weinberg received an MSc in physical chemistry from Moscow State University in 1976 and a PhD in theoretical chemistry from Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, in 1981. He joined the Chemistry department of the then University College of the Fraser Valley in 1994. The UFV Molecular Modeling Lab was established on his initiative in 2001. More than 50 UFV students received research training in this lab.
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