The use of linguistic resources by mathematics teachers to create analogies

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Researchers have documented the use of analogies by teachers when introducing mathematical concepts. This article asks the question what linguistic resources do teachers use to create analogies? The article applies systemic functional linguistics to examine examples in which a geometry teacher used analogies to connect daily life instances and mathematical ideas. Specifically, the method applies cohesion analysis to examine the teacher's use of lexical cohesion, conjunctions, and reported speech in the creation of analogies. The teacher created a parallel structure between the target and base of the analogies. The study demonstrates how linguistic analysis can be useful for researchers studying how teachers construct the mathematical classroom register through analogies, particularly when connecting colloquial and mathematics discourses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-96
Number of pages16
JournalLinguistics and Education
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Analogies
  • Lexical cohesion
  • Mathematics teaching
  • Systemic functional linguistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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