Facilitating emergent bilingual's participation in mathematics : an examination of a teacher's positioning acts
This study examined the mathematical learning opportunities provided to Latinx emergent bilinguals (EBs) in an elementary classroom. I used positioning theory (Rom Harré & van Langenhove, 1999b) to examine the acts of one third-grade teacher, Ms. Bristow, over two years to identify the ways she interactively positioned Latinx EBs in whole-class settings through spoken and written acts. An examination of the data revealed Ms. Bristow positioned EBs in five ways: inviting EBs to co-construct mathematics, revoicing EBs' mathematical contribution, acting as an intermediary between EBs and peers, valuing EBs' mathematical contributions, and recording EBs’ mathematical thinking. These positioning acts provided multiple opportunities for EBs to use spoken mathematical discourse—a critical component to mathematical learning. The positioning acts also fostered the storylines: EBs are mathematically competent, EBs can explain their mathematical thinking to others, and EBs are contributors to the coconstruction of math. The findings from this study have implications for teacher education and mathematics educators.