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Mathematics Orchestrating Mathematical Discourse

with English Learners

Language Beginning Intermediate Advanced
Proficiencies Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Characteristics of •M
 ay be familiar with some •U
 nderstands and uses • Participates in discussions • Has a deeper understanding • Uses more complex grammar
of the sounds and words of basic words, phrases, and about math including asking of language including math and vocabulary when
an English Learner English. commands. questions. and academic vocabulary. participating in academic
 esponds to questions • F olllows conversations • Uses higher-order language • Uses more sophisticated
by pointing, gesturing, independently. skills to participate in mathematical and academic
and drawing. academic discourse. vocabulary with fewer errors
• Uses
 better grammar when
during academic discourse.
 ay use first language to communicating about • Uses more precise vocabulary
ask questions. mathematics including asking with more accuracy. • Seeks clarification.
questions and explaining
the math.

What English •C
 an use their first language to •C
 an ask questions using • Can ask questions and seek • Can ask questions and seek • Can sustain a conversation
communicate their thinking simple sentences. clarification using simple clarification from both the during math discourse.
Learners Can Do and ask questions. sentences. teacher and other students
 an explain by using • Can also ask questions and
about the content. seek clarification as needed.
 an use visuals to contribute gestures, pointing at images • Can describe their process of
to the conversation. on their paper. solving a math problem using • Can participate in academic • Can include both precise
simple sentences. discourse and explain their math and academic
 an use sentence frames to
thinking. vocabulary.
explain their solutions.

Teacher Support Create a growth mindset classroom by encouraging students to learn from mistakes both in mathematics and language.

 stablish a non-verbal
E Have students work with a Provide students sentence  ave students orally
H  ncourage students to ask
way for students to ask for partner to seek clarification. frames to ask questions and explain how they solved for clarification.
clarification. Ex: Red/green seek clarification. their problem. Restate or recast student
Provide sentence starters
cards. to help communicate the Provide guidance to ensure Restate or recast questions questions or comments
Provide simple sentence mathematics using some students are using correct or phrases to model correct to model correct English
starters to encourage key math and academic language. English usage during usage during discourse.
participation: words. discourse when students
Have students practice
ask for clarification or
I agree with _________. Have students explain how saying the steps they used
participate in mathematical
they solved their problem to solve a problem before
I disagree with ________. discourse.
to another student and calling on them.
Partner students with other have them write out the Provide more complex
Have students work with
students to co-explain their solution for them. sentence frames that
a partner and practice
solution. include clauses.
Have students practice explaining one portion
Have students write their saying the steps they used of the solution before
solutions in their first to solve before calling on explaining it to the whole
language. them. class.