Bilingual math skills for language learners

Bilingual math skills usually might indicate learning of numbers. Of course, your students will learn numbers in a math class.

However, learning bilingual math is beyond teaching them to count. Especially for bilingual learners, the way your students acquire language is just as important as learning math.

While there are many instructional methods to teach bilingual math, your students grasp math concepts in one language more than another. So, implementing a teaching strategy might require multiple ways to use bilingual math skills. 

Bilingual Math Skills in Learning Math

Obviously, a bilingual brain is not the same as a monolingual brain. The way your bilingual learners understand math is most likely not the same as a student that knows one language.

However, studies find that bilingual minds solve math problems at a different rate than monolingual students. Brain studies suggest that bilingual learners use critical visual skills when learning math more than language skills.

Most likely, young bilinguals learn basic mathematical concepts before becoming proficient in a second language. As students become comfortable with a new language, previous math concepts remain in a brain’s prior knowledge database.

Even though students use visual representation often in solving math problems, language skills are still relevant. In some cases, students translate word problems to make sense of the wording.

This type of answering math word problems might create a delay in responses. That is, thinking in a native language leads to students to solve math problems in that language.

Furthermore, studies indicate that the way your students learned math originally contributes to solving math problems. For instance, bilingual learners’ cognitive abilities might use different areas of the brain to solve math problems.

While bilingual learners operate math skills differently, they can tackle and grasp various math concepts. 

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bilingual math skills