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Students’ multilingual repertoires-in-use for meaning-making: Contrasting case studies in three multilingual constellations
Á Uribe, S. Prediger

Students’ multilingual repertoires-in-use for meaning-making: Contrasting case studies in three multilingual constellations

The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 62, 100820

Mathematics education for multilingual classrooms calls for instructional approaches that build upon students’ multilingual resources. However, so far, students’ multilingual resources and the interplay of their components have only partly been disentangled and rarely compared between different multilingual contexts. This article suggests a conceptualization of multilingual repertoires-in-use as characterized by (a) what students use of certain languages, registers, and representations as sources for meaning-making in mathematics classrooms and (b) their processes of how they connect certain languages, registers, and representations. This qualitative learning-process study compares students’ multilingual repertoires-in-use in three contexts: Spanish-speaking foreign language learners of German in Colombia, Turkish- and German-speaking students born in Germany, and Arabic-speaking German language beginners recently immigrated to Germany. The analysis reveals the biggest differences not only in what the students use, but how they connect languages, registers, and representations. Some of these differences can partly be traced back to different classroom cultural practices. These findings suggest extending the conceptual framework for multilingual repertoires-in-use and including it in a social theoretical perspective. Thus, these findings have important practical consequences for multilingual mathematics classrooms: The instructional approach of relating languages, registers, and representations needs to be applied more flexibly, taking into account students’ different starting points. When doing so, students’ connection processes should be supported and explicated more systematically in order to fully exploit the students’ repertoires.