Repository logo

A case study of the use of the mathematical register by Year 8 students: a critical analysis of teaching strategies that can be employed to encourage this use.

Published version



Change log


Robson, James 


The quality and variety of mathematical language that pupils hear are identified in the new curriculum as key factors towards developing their mathematical vocabulary. This project explores, using a case study methodology, the concept of mathematical language and specifically the mode of speech we use when we talk mathematically. The participants were a class of higher-attainment 12-13 year olds in a UK comprehensive school.

A case study methodology was used to examine pupils’ prior attitudes to mathematical talk and to analyse strategies for improving it. This study involved a combination of pupil and teacher interviews, lesson observation, and analysis of learner product from these lessons. The key finding was that student attitudes towards mathematical talk (and their acceptance of it as a valid mode of discourse for them) are a key factor in their ability to use mathematical talk well.



Secondary, Mathematics, Year 8, mathematical register

Journal Title

Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Faculty of Education

Publisher DOI

Publisher URL