"Find the natpowz of an orgle if the yzvikno is 30." Concepcion Molina, Ed.D., poses this question in his lecture, "The Problem with Math is English," in order to demonstrate how important it is to integrate English language comprehension lessons into math instruction. Molina currently works for SEDL, a non-profit organization dedicated to educational research and professional development, and has published a book with the same title as this presentation. Previously, Molina worked as a high school mathematics teacher for 14 years. As Molina recounts in this lecture, he entered the first grade in the United States as an English Language Learner (ELL), and remembers the mathematical obstacles he encountered as an ELL student in the math classroom. (What did it mean, exactly, when his teacher asked him how many times 2 "fit into" 8?) Molina emphasizes that all students - not just ELLs - benefit from the integration of explicit language instruction in the mathematics curriculum. This lecture outlines the ways that language instruction is crucial for helping all math students understand key mathematics concepts and offers tips for how instructors can incorporate this kind of instruction into their classrooms.
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