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Elementary school teachers need to be trained in proficient use of language of mathematics
Some time ago, during a training of science and mathematics of teachers at middle school level in an English medium school in Jammu, the issue of language of mathematics was brought up by the principal of the school.

Not only teachers have been not trained in technical language of mathematics during their in-service training but also their teaching methods lack logic and reasoning, she rued.

Language of mathematics is the standard universal system of the use of communication codes by mathematicians and teachers to convey mathematical ideas among themselves and for teaching the discipline's concepts and content to the students.

Mathematical language can be viewed as a substrate of the medium of instruction or communication in a school. It has symbols, vocabulary or technical terms and grammatical conventions that are specific to mathematical discourse which is supplemented heavily by a highly specialized symbolic notations and expressions for mathematical formulas.

The schools, wherein English is the medium of instruction, Mathematical English is a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols of mathematics in an accepted and standard way in English along with common Greek alphabets. It is expected that a standard vocabulary of mathematical symbols or words along with a grammar consisting of rules of how these symbols may be used and communicated by speaking and writing to students of mathematics and other professionals.

The mathematical notation used for formulas has its own independent grammar or the one which is not dependent on a specific natural language, but shared internationally by mathematicians and students of mathematics regardless of their mother tongues or mediums of instruction other than English.

This includes the conventions that the formulas are written predominantly left to right, even when the writing system of the substrate language is right-to-left as in Urdu, and that the Greek alphabet is commonly used for simple variables and parameters.

In Mathematical English, the mathematical formulas can be a part of speech in a natural-language phrase, or even assume the role of a full-fledged sentence by itself.

A mathematic expression can be considered as a sentence or an independent clause with mathematical symbols having the role of symbolic verbs.

Keeping the foregoing in view, there is an urgent need of training of elementary school level teachers in language of mathematics. It has been proposed at least 10 hour of such training is required with a follow-up of the training for its transfer to classroom processes.

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