Learning mathematics in a Turkish-English bilingual after school club

Ürkmez, Ayşe Serpil (2018) Learning mathematics in a Turkish-English bilingual after school club. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This thesis presents an investigation of a bilingual Turkish/English after school club in a UK secondary school. It investigates and analyses bilingual/multilingual students’ naturally occurring language use during classroom activities and explores students’ strategies while tackling mathematical tasks. It examines how learners construct a collaborative bilingual learning environment and form a community of practice. The study is set in a large mixed comprehensive school in North London where approximately 30% of students are from Turkish speaking backgrounds. Turkish speakers form one of the four largest cthno-linguistic groups in England.
The following major strategies emerged from my analysis: translanguaging, activating prior knowledge, employing play frames and learning in a social context. I discovered that translanguaging allowed students to access their own cultural and linguistic repertoire. They worked through mathematical tasks by activating prior knowledge, often using playful language. Through collaborative learning in a social context, they formed a bilingual community of practice. As a result of employing these strategies, mathematical understanding was enhanced, students performed better with improved self-confidence and mathematical problem solving was aided.

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