## Discourse practices of mathematics teacher educators in initial teacher training colleges in Malawi.

##### Date

2010-03-01T07:15:32Z

##### Authors

Chitera, Nancy

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##### Abstract

This is a qualitative research that draws on Faircloughâ€™s Critical Discourse Analysis
methodology to analyze the discourse practices of the mathematics teacher educators in
initial teacher training colleges in Malawi. The study involved four mathematics teacher
educators in two teacher training colleges located in two different regions of Malawi.
Specifically the study explored the following questions:
1) What are the discourse practices that mathematics teacher educators
display in their descriptions of multilingual mathematics classrooms?
2) a) What are the discourse practices that mathematics teacher educators
display in a college mathematics classroom?
b) How do they make available the discourse practices for the student
teachers to draw on?
Data was collected through pre-observation interviews, classroom observations,
reflective interviews and focus group discussions with the mathematics teacher
educators.
This study has shown that while there are some disconnections between the discourse
practices produced in a school multilingual mathematics classroom and a college
mathematics classroom, some of the discourse practices that mathematics teachers
produced in a college mathematics classroom reinforces the common discourse
practices being produced in multilingual mathematics classroom. There are three
common discourse practices that were displayed in a college mathematics classroom.
These discourse practices are: Initial-Response-Evaluation (Pimm, 1987), traditional
lecturing and group discussions. I observed that the IRE and traditional lecturing
discourse practices were accompanied by directive discourses for procedural control,
and the procedural discourse was the prevalent discourse in all the discourse practices
produced.
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Three major themes have emerged from the data analysis. Firstly, the research findings
indicate that the mathematics teacher educators regard multilingualism and the language
practices that come with it such as code-switching more as a problem rather than a
resource for teaching and learning. Secondly, code-switching in college mathematics
classroom is not as spontaneous as is research shows it to be in schools; rather it is very
much controlled and restricted. Thirdly, the dilemmas of code-switching as discussed
by Adler (1998, 2001) are more acute in teacher training colleges, mainly because of the
mismatch in the Language-in-Education Policy (LiEP) in schools and tertiary level.

##### Description

##### Keywords

Qualitative research design , Critical discourse analysis , Discourse practice , Mathematics teacher educators , Initial teacher training colleges , Multilingual classroom , Code switching , Multilingualism , Student teachers , College mathematics classroom , Initial-Response-Evaluation , Traditional lecturing , Group discussions , Directive discourse , Procedural discourse , School mathematics teaching