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Influences of Indigenous language on spatial frames of reference in Aboriginal English

Edmonds-Wathen, Cris (2013). Influences of Indigenous language on spatial frames of reference in Aboriginal English. Mathematics Education Research Journal,26(2):169-192.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB46
Title Influences of Indigenous language on spatial frames of reference in Aboriginal English
Author Edmonds-Wathen, Cris
Journal Name Mathematics Education Research Journal
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 26
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1033-2170   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
eISSN 2211-050X
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84901619869
Start Page 169
End Page 192
Total Pages 24
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract The Aboriginal English spoken by Indigenous children in remote communities in the Northern Territory of Australia is influenced by the home languages spoken by themselves and their families. This affects uses of spatial terms used in mathematics such as ‘in front’ and ‘behind.’ Speakers of the endangered Indigenous Australian language Iwaidja use the intrinsic frame of reference in contexts where speakers of Standard Australian English use the relative frame of reference. Children speaking Aboriginal English show patterns of use that parallel the Iwaidja contexts. This paper presents detailed examples of spatial descriptions in Iwaidja and Aboriginal English that demonstrate the parallel patterns of use. The data comes from a study that investigated how an understanding of spatial frame of reference in Iwaidja could assist teaching mathematics to Indigenous language-speaking students. Implications for teaching mathematics are explored for teachers without previous experience in a remote Indigenous community.
Keywords Indigenous Australian language
Language and cognition
Spatial frames of reference
Aboriginal English
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