Math 3-6

Accessible Vocabulary & Syntax

Overview

Teachers support language development by using and providing vocabulary and syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g., using simple sentences when introducing complex concepts). When teachers incorporate challenging but accessible math words in their daily instruction, they create a contextual environment for students to practice, apply, and grow their math language and thus Math Communication. Knowledge of mathematical vocabulary is specifically linked to success with word problem solving and is especially valuable for students whose primary language is not English.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this teacher uses Marzano's Six Step Process, a method that emphasizes accessibility of language, to teach tier two vocabulary to his middle school students as part of his weekly teaching practice.

  • Teachers can display math words in the classroom and actively refer to them when they are used in context by both the teacher and students. This reference point supports students' Short-term Memory and facilitates the transition of these words into students' daily speech. As students are learning new vocabulary or multiple-meaning words for math, teachers can also simplify their syntax to relieve students' cognitive load in Working Memory.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • Products can provide adaptive language that adjusts to the appropriate vocabulary and syntax complexity that can be read and understood by learners. They can also introduce features for learners to practice target math words and grow their Language Skills.