According to the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs, the growing number of students with limited English proficiency includes slightly more than 10 percent of K–12 students in today's U.S. classrooms (NCELA 2006). English language learners (ELLs) may need special support to meet the educational standards we set for students. In its Equity Principle, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states, “Some students may need further assistance to meet high mathematics expectations. Students who are not native speakers of English, for instance, may need special attention to allow them to participate fully in classroom discussions” (NCTM 2000, p. 12). This need has become particularly important because mathematics tasks are increasingly contextualized and thus verbal in nature, in addition to the fact that greater emphasis has been placed on communication in mathematics classrooms.
Lynda R. Wiest professional interests include mathematics education, educational equity, and teacher education.