Mother Tongue and Communication in the Construction of Mathematical Thinking

Abstract This article presents results of a research with the objective of establishing the mother tongue's role in the construction of mathematical thought on a multi-grade group of a rural area. There is a theoretical discussion about communication, the use of the mother tongue and representations in math class; it is also illustrated with respect to the exploratory-research mathematics task. The research followed a qualitative approach, from the perspective of action research. The exploratory-investigative task carried out with the children is described and analyzed, from which it is possible to intuit that math class communication through the mother tongue is a fundamental tool in the concrete, conceptual or symbolic handling of mathematical concepts. It is perceived that children construct meaning from their everyday language, assigning meaning to what they read, hear or represent through oral or written communicative interaction.