Using Interviews to Identify the Resources of Multilingual High School Students

The resources that multilingual students bring to school mathematics are often ignored. During a teacher-researcher collaborative project focused on creating more equitable learning environments in high school math classrooms, we noted an initial tendency to focus on the challenges and barriers facing multilingual students. To counter this tendency, we worked with two teachers to engage in a structured teacher-student interview to identify and highlight secondary multilingual students’ home and community resources. We adapted a module from TeachMath to guide the activity and facilitated surveys, debriefs and teacher-research conversations to unpack this experience. After the interview, the two secondary mathematics teachers reported they were more familiar with their students’ resources in the areas of language, family, school/mathematics class and out of school activities. We close by discussing how other teachers might do this activity in their local context.

D'Errico, M., & Zahner, W. (2021). Using interviews to identify the resources of multilingual high school students. Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics, 12(2), 7-15.