[Blueboard] Dissertation Defense

Department of English [LS] english.soh at ateneo.edu
Wed Aug 6 17:06:41 PHT 2014

Ms. Maria Luz Elena N. Canilao
Ph.D. English Language & Literature candidate

will defend her dissertation entitled " EXAMINING THE PLACE OF ENGLISH IN
PHILIPPINES," on August 15 (Friday), 1:00-3:00pm at NGF Conference Room,
G/F de la Costa Hall.

Panel of Examiners:

Dr. Ma. Isabel Martin, Department of English, ADMU

Dr. Mary Thomas, Department of English, ADMU

Dr. Rochelle Lucas, Department of English and Applied Linguistics, DLSU

Dr. Ruanni Tupas, Department of Language and Literature, NIE, Singapore

Dissertation Adviser:

Dr. Maria Luz Vilches, Department of English, ADMU

This study explores the role of English in the teaching of mathematics in
the upper grades of an urban public elementary school in the Philippines.
It examines how English is used in teaching mathematics; it investigates
what factors guide its use; and it describes how these factors help shape
the way it is used in fifth and sixth grade multilingual classrooms. This
work employs the theories of Gee (1999) on Discourses and cultural models
and extends the studies of Moschkovich (2002; 2007) and Setati (2005) on
mathematical and nonmathematical Discourses in bilingual and multilingual

The results show that the teacher and student participants use English
together with Tagalog and Taglish in various mathematical and
non-mathematical Discourses. All the teacher participants gave their
students the freedom to use the language of their choice in their
mathematics classrooms. This work also describes how mathematics teaching
and learning may become more engaging with the use of concrete objects,
gestures, and illustrations. It supports the contention of Moschkovich
(2002; 2007) that mathematical communication goes beyond words, and
therefore, non-language elements should be explored further for promoting
learning in multilingual mathematics classrooms.

The findings indicate that there are three major factors that may guide the
use of English in teaching mathematics: political considerations;
pedagogical concerns; and personal convictions. This study concludes that
English may serve as a valuable resource for mathematics learning in upper
elementary multilingual classrooms if it is appropriated and used together
with Tagalog, the home language of learners, and Taglish, the link between
Tagalog and English. On its own, English seems to be more of a stumbling
block for students whose English comprehension and communication skills are
still in the developing stages, but if it is used together with other
linguistic tools, it may become a building block for mathematics learning.

The dissertation defense is open to the public.

Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108
Tel. no.: 426-6001 local 5310/5311
Telefax: 426-6201
Email: english.soh at ateneo.edu
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