for the learning of mathematics

an international journal of mathematics education

Dave Hewitt - Vol. 43 Num. 0 (2023)
 The pedagogic use of language: interplay between the two modes of what is said and what is seen


In this paper, I develop David Pimm’s focus on language by highlighting the role language can take as a pedagogic tool for a teacher. Through a number of examples, I explore how the careful choice of language can affect what is made available for students in trying to make sense of a mathematical situation. Furthermore, moving between the two modes of what is said and what is seen, can affect the way in which one mode informs how the other mode might be construed. Depending upon the use of particular language, and the actions which accompany them, written symbolic expressions can be viewed as processes already carried out, processes yet to be done, or as single objects. I finish with a summary of the themes developed within the paper.