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  • 1.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Bokstavligt, bildligt och symboliskt i skolans matematik: – en studie om ämnesspråk i TIMSS2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of mathematical subject language regarding three semiotic resources, written language, images and mathematical symbols. The theses also investigates high- and low-performingstudents encounter with mathematical subject language.

    Based on previous research on language and from a theoretical foundation based on systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and social semiotics, four meaning dimensions – packing, precision, personification and presentation – were identified as central in academic language in general and in mathematical subject language. A didactically based reception theoretical perspective has been used for an analysis of high and low achieving students' encounter with the mathematical subject language.

    The thesis comprises three studies each examining the mathematical subject language in TIMSS 2011 from various angles. The analyzes were conducted on four content areas algebra, statistics, geometry and arithmetic in the Swedish version of the international study Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2011 (TIMSS).

    In a summary, the results showed that the mathematical subject language was used in different ways in the four content areas in TIMSS where colloquial and subject-specific forms of languages had different roles and were expressed in varying degrees by the written language, images and mathematical symbols. Thus each content area was expressed by its own register which means that is not sufficient to talk about mathematical subject language as one single language.

    The result shows that two forms of language, subject specific and everyday language were used parallel in the TIMSS material. The subject specific forms were most salient in algebra and geometry and the more everyday forms of language were more common in statistics and arithmetic.

    The results from the correlation analyses indicated that fewer students managed the encounter with tasks in algebra and geometry when they were expressed by subject specific language. In contrast, the results indicated that students were able handle the encounter with the more colloquial expressions of the content areas statistics and arithmetic.  

    List of papers
    1. Linguistic features and their function in different mathematical content areas in TIMSS 2011
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Linguistic features and their function in different mathematical content areas in TIMSS 2011
    (English)In: Nordic Studies in Mathematics EducationArticle in journal (Refereed) In press
    Keywords
    Mathematics education, language, Systemic Functional Linguistics, TIMSS, Matematikundervisning, språk, Systemisk Funktionell Lingvistik, TIMSS
    National Category
    Educational Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282153 (URN)
    Available from: 2016-04-13 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-06-01
    2. Meaning dimensions in mathematical subject language in different content areas in TIMSS and their relation to the results of high and low performing students
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Meaning dimensions in mathematical subject language in different content areas in TIMSS and their relation to the results of high and low performing students
    (English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
    Keywords
    disciplinary literacy, mathematics education, language, TIMSS, Disciplinary literacy, matematikundervisning, språk, TIMSS
    National Category
    Educational Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282155 (URN)
    Available from: 2016-04-13 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-06-01
    3. On the significance of symbols and images in school mathematics: a study of mathematical subject language in four content areas in TIMSS
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the significance of symbols and images in school mathematics: a study of mathematical subject language in four content areas in TIMSS
    (English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
    Keywords
    mathematics education, semiotic resources, systemic functional linguistics, social semiotics, language, quantitative analysis
    National Category
    Didactics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-283208 (URN)
    Available from: 2016-04-13 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2016-06-01
  • 2.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Det matematiska ämnesspråket och dess betydelse för olika elevgrupper 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Images and Mathematical Symbols in Four Content Areasin TIMSS: A Study of Multi-Semiotic Aspects in Mathematical Subject Language2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Meaning dimensions in mathematical subject language in different content areas in TIMSS and their relation to the results of high and low performing studentsArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    The importance of grammatical style in mathematics tests for second language learners and lowperforming students2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Dyrvold, Anneli
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Att utveckla elevers begreppsförmåga: Bildens potential i undervisningen2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

     Denna studie är ett planerat samarbete mellan aktiva lärare och forskare där syftet är att fördjupa kunskapen om bildens potential att stödja elevers begreppskompetens i matematikämnet. Olika semiotiska resurser såsom naturligt språk, matematisk notation och bilder används som redskap för att stärka elevers begreppskompetens i matematik (Brenner, Herman, Ho och Zimmer, 1999) vilket bland annat är vanligt i läromedel. Förekomsten av bilder som resurser i matematikläromedel har ökat under 2000-talet (Dimmel och Herbst, 2015) och därför behövs en fördjupad kunskap om bilders betydelse för elevers förståelse av matematiken. Bilder i matematiskt ämnesspråk kan vara av olika typ, allt från vardagsnära avbildningar till mer schematiska bilder. Detta har beskrivits som att bilder har olika kodningsorientering (se Kress och van Leeuwen 2006), vilket resulterar i varierande grad av abstraktion. I denna studie analyseras elevers samtal om matematik utifrån bilder med olika kodningsorientering. Studien genomförs i årskurs 5 i grundskolan och årskurs 1 på gymnasiet där elever i grupp löser matematikuppgifter. Inom varje årskurs används samma matematikproblem men typen av bild skiljer sig åt. I gymnasiet studeras elever på ett tekniskt program där syftet med matematikundervisningen är att förbereda eleverna för högre studier. Genom att studera två olika praktiker ges möjlighet till en rik beskrivning av bildens betydelse i två olika kontexter. Analyser genomförs på videoupptagningar av gruppsamtalen, avseende hur och i vilken utsträckning elevernas uttalanden signalerar begreppskompetens såsom definierad av Kilpatrick, Swafford och Findell (2001). Studien avses bidra till ökad kunskap om olika bilders potential att fungera som ett redskap i undervisningen för att stödja utvecklingen av elevers begreppskompetens. Resultaten kan förbättra lärares förutsättningar att göra medvetna didaktiska val av bilder med olika kodningsorientering. Till exempel kan en viss typ av bilder väljas i syfte att skapa förutsättningar för elevsamtal orienterade mot en högre abstraktionsnivå.

  • 7.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Dyrvold, Anneli
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Multi-semiotic progression in school mathematics2019Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Persson, Tomas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    The Information Density of School Mathematics2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Persson, Tomas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    The Subject Language Use In Year 8 TIMSS-Test Questions : A Comparison Of Language Uses In Science And Mathematics2018In: Network Sessions as ECER 2018, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study we want to make a contribution by making a comparison between the subject languages in mathematics and science based on linguistic theories about language and language function. Through this theoretical foundation in this present study we also have the opportunity to analyze the language function and thus we can also discuss the language's role in teaching. The aim of this study is to compare and thus gain more knowledge of grammatical features in subject language in science and mathematics and how these grammatical features are used to express meaning. To fulfil this purpose, science and mathematics items from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011, grade eight, have been analysed from a functional perspective on language.

    Empirical studies that compare language use in different subjects are sparsely present (Österholm & Bergqvist, 2013) but there are studies pointing out that how language are used to express meaning varies between different school subjects (e.g. Fang & Schleppegrell, 2008; Schleppegrell, 2004). These linguistic differences have been highlighted as arguments for a more differentiated language-based teaching of subjects, leaning on disciplinary literacy (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008). In order to conduct such a language-based teaching of subjects, an awareness of the different functions in the language used in various school subject is of great importance. One example of a comparative language study is the corpus study conducted by Ribeck (2015) where the language in Swedish teaching materials in science is analyzed, and compared with teaching materials in social science and with textbooks in mathematics. However, Ribeck does not make a direct analysis of mathematical subject language, her focus is rather on the language used in natural science compared to social science. There are also studies that focuses on the language use within subjects. Here it appears that the subject language is used differently and has different functions in different content areas within school mathematics (e.g. Bergvall, 2016) as well as within the different school science subjects, e.g. biology, physics, chemistry and earth science (e.g. Persson, 2016).  

    This study draws on a social semiotic perspective and systemic functional linguistics (SFL) (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). A point of departure is the perspective that different registers of language are used in different social contexts, which in this study is defined as the two school subjects science and mathematics. Grounded in SFL and the three meta-functions ideational, interpersonal and textual function the meaning dimension model of analysis was developed in a previous research project (Bergvall et al., 2016; Persson et al., 2016). Four central meaning dimensions, packing, precision, personification and presentation, were condensed from previous research regarding academic language and language use in the school subjects science and mathematics. The meaning dimensions can be used as measures of how grammatical features are used in various types of texts in order to express meaning. Packing and precision are regarded as aspects of the ideational meta-function. Packing is a measure of the information density in a text and precision is a measure of how and to what extent the given information in the text is specified. Personification, as an aspect of the interpersonal meta-function, is a measure of how personal relations between the reader and the text are expressed. The last meaning dimension, presentation, concerns how the information is structured in the text and is regarded as an aspect of the textual meta-function. In the present study, the four meaning dimensions are used to describe and compare the language and its function in science and mathematics items in TIMSS 2011.

    Method

    By the use of a quantitative method all items in mathematics and science from the Swedish version of TIMSS 2011, grade eight were analyzed. This material consists of 197 items in science and 217 items in mathematics. The language in these items have been analyzed for word class, word length and number of words per items by a computer based automatic parsing. For this parsing Extensible Markup Language (XML) was used. Some other linguistic features, i.e. passive forms and subordinate clauses, were identified manually. Since the meaning dimensions are used as a base for the linguistic analysis, the results will possibly be generally applicable also for other European languages, although the analysis was conducted on the Swedish version of TIMSS items. Packing was measured by calculating the number of nouns and the number of long words (>6 characters). Precision in the items were provided by words such as adjectives, adverbs, participles and counting words specifying different attributes in the items. Personification was here measured by the number of personal pronouns and proper names and presentation was measured by the presence of subordinate clauses and passive forms. In order to compensate for the varying length of different items, the number of the different linguistic features were divided by the number of words in the particular item. To enable the adding of different features, each feature is normalized by calculating its z-score. An index was then calculated for each meaning dimension based on the linguistic information on each item. From these indices a comparison between the language uses in the two subjects was possible. In the next step of the analysis each subject were separated into content domains: Algebra, Data & chance, Geometry and Numbers for mathematics items and Biology, Chemistry, Earth science and Physics for science items. This enabled variations of language use within the subjects also to be analyzed. The results were compiled in box-plots diagrams which visualized the distribution of the expressions of the four meaning dimensions in the various content domains.

    Expected Outcomes

    Preliminary results show that central traits of the academic language as measured by the four meaning dimensions are used in similar ways in both science and mathematics. The levels of packing, precision and presentation are fairly similar when looking at differences between the subjects. Personification shows the largest differences between the subjects, where mathematics as a whole makes more use of personal pronouns and proper names in the items. When separating the subjects into content domains, Statistics shows the highest level of personification. In this domain it can therefore be concluded that human participants are essential, thus emphasizing that this is a domain that this is an area of relevance for people in general or for the student him/herself. This can be interpreted as signaling the possibility to actively participate and interact in similar situations as described by the items context. On the other hand, in domains such as Algebra, Geometry and Earth science where the content is expressed with a low level of personification, the interpretation is that the content of these domains –at least as expressed in TIMSS items- are more separated from peoples’ everyday lives and thus the students’ own reality. Another result that emerges from the analysis relates to the meaning dimension presentation where we see that the written texts, especially in Algebra, but also in Geometry, Numbers and Earth science, mainly contains short sentences without subordinate clauses. In written academic language, subordinate clauses are a common tool for creating information flow and link different parts of the text (Fang, 2006; Schleppegrell, 2004; Veel, 1997). The lack of subordinate clauses in tasks in certain content areas of TIMSS indicates a subject-specific linguistic form that may require a familiarity with this specific form of language use.

    References

    Bergvall, I. (2016). Bokstavligt, bildligt och symboliskt i skolans matematik – en studie om ämnesspråk i TIMSS. [Diss.] Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Bergvall, I., Wiksten Folkeryd, J., & Liberg, C. (2016). Linguistic features and their function in different mathematical content areas in TIMSS 2011. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 21(2), 45-68. Fang, Z. (2006). The Language Demands of Science Reading in Middle School, International Journal of Science Education, 28(5) 491-520. Fang, Z., & Schleppegrell, M. J. (2008). Reading in secondary content areas: A language-based pedagogy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3.th ed.). London: Arnold. Persson, Tomas (2016). De naturvetenskapliga ämnesspråken. De naturvetenskapliga uppgifterna i och elevers resultat från TIMSS 2011 år 8. [Diss.] Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Persson, T., af Geijerstam, Å., & Liberg, C. (2016). Features and functions of scientific language(s) in TIMSS 2011. Nordic Studies in Science Education, 12(2), 176-196. Ribeck, Judy (2015). Steg för steg. Naturvetenskapligt ämnesspråk som räknas. [Diss.] Data linguistica. No. 28, Institutionen för svenska språket, Göteborgs universitet. Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents: Rethinking content-area literacy. Harvard Educational Review, 78(1), 40–59. Schleppegrell, M. J. (2004). The language of schooling; a functional linguistics perspective. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Veel, R. (1997). Learning How to Mean-Scientifically Speaking: Apprenticeship into Scientific Discourse in the Secondary School. In. Christie Frances & Jim R. Martin (Eds.), Genre and Institutions: Social Processes in the Workplace and School, s. 161-195. London: Cassell. Österholm, M. & Bergqvist, E. (2013). What is so special about mathematical texts? Analyses of common claims in research literature and of properties of textbooks. ZDM Mathematics education, 45(5) 751-763.

  • 10.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Prytz, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    On the significance of symbols and images in school mathematics: a study of mathematical subject language in four content areas in TIMSSArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Wiksten Folkeryd, Jenny
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Liberg, Caroline
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Language register in different domains of mathematics, and its importance for different groups of 8th grade students2014In: : Material1 ?Material x Språk: - Engelska Svenska Norska Arabiska Bokmål Bulgariska Danska Engelska Esperanto Estniska Finska Franska Färöiska Grönländska (Kalaallit oqaasi) Hebreiska Hindi Indonesiska Iriska Isländska Italienska Japanska Katalanska Kinesiska Koreanska Kroatiska Kurdiska Latin Lettiska Litauiska Madurese Makedonska Mongoliskt språk Nederländska Norska Nygrekiska (1453-) Nynorsk Odefinierat språk Persiska Polska Portugisiska Rumänska Ryska Samiskt språk Sanskrit Serbiska Slovakiska Slovenska Spanska Svenska Tjeckiska Turkiska Tyska Ukrainska Ungerska Urdu Vietnamesiska, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Bergvall, Ida
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Wiksten Folkeryd, Jenny
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Liberg, Caroline
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Linguistic features and their function in different mathematical content areas in TIMSS 2011In: Nordic Studies in Mathematics EducationArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Dyrvold, Anneli
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Designing tasks with self-explanation prompts2019In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education / [ed] U. T. Jankvist, M. van den Heuvel-Panhuizen, & M. Veldhuis, Utrecht, the Netherlands: Freudenthal Group & Freudenthal Institute, Utrecht University and ERME , 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents some results from an ongoing review on self-explanation prompts. An emphasis is laid on design principles based on empirical research. The review is grounded in scaffolding theory, which means that the self-explanation prompts are seen as a temporary support that the student shall learn to manage without. Three themes identified in the review are described and discussed in relation to design and implementation of tasks with self-explanation prompts: prompts with different purposes, the necessity to adapt prompt to students’ prior knowledge, and factors of importance for students’ engagement in the prompts. Examples of tasks with prompts for which these design aspects have been taken into account are given in the paper.

  • 14.
    Dyrvold, Anneli
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Meeting the needs of today’s society – developing collaborative problem solving skills2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Dyrvold, Anneli
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Bergvall, Ida
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Multimodal resources in school mathematics and their potential to express meaning in digital and printed teaching materials2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    General description on research questions, objectives and theoretical framework 

    This study addresses the language of the school subject mathematics and the aim is to investigate the potential of multimodal resources to express meaning in textbooks and digital teaching materials. An emphasis is in the analysis laid on the distinction between subject specific and everyday multisemiotic register. Language used in teaching materials in mathematics is often multisemiotic, which means that various semiotic resources such as natural language, symbolic notation, and images are used together. These semiotic resources have different potential to express meaning (Schleppegrell, 2007; Lemke, 1990; Unsworth, 1997; Abel & Exley, 2008). Natural language, is argued to be a very poor resource for formulating for example quantity, continuous co-variation, and gradation (Lemke, 1998) and therefore there is also a need for other resources to express meaning in mathematics. When various semiotic resources are used together in a text, the text can express both more and other things, compared to the use of the different semiotic resources separately, a phenomenon referred to as meaning multiplication (Lemke, 1998). This multiplicativity of meaning is possible since in a multisemiotic text, the different semiotic resources contribute differently to the text, and the meaning afforded by one resource can modulate the meaning afforded by another resource. 

    In mathematics education today these various semiotic resources are extensively used, both in print and on computer screens. Images together with natural language and mathematical notation is used as resources in teaching, in order to strengthen the student’s conceptual knowledge (Brenner, Herman, Ho & Zimmer, 1999). During the 20 th century the presence of images in mathematics teaching materials has increased (Dimmel & Herbst, 2015), but most often, students get no education about the role and function of images (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006). Lemke (2000) emphasizes the importance of deepening the understanding about the role of different semiotic resources. Such an understanding is also required by a student to master a subject, as part of the content knowledge since representations have such an intrinsic role in the subject mathematics. It is therefore of importance to find out more precisely how various semiotic resources are used in school mathematics, and if these resources are used differently in different kinds of teaching materials. 

    To learn more about the semiotic resources used in teaching materials in school mathematics the current study adopts a social semiotic theoretical perspective (see e.g., Kress and van Leeuwen, 2006; O’Halloran, 2007). This perspective provides tools to investigate both how aspects of language, such as various semiotic resources, are used in acts of communication, and at the same time analyze how these chosen forms of language express and thus offer meaning to the reader in different ways (see e.g. Knain, 2005). The backbone of the study is an analysis focusing on the three metafunctions: the interpersonal, ideational and textual function (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014). The inclusion of all three metafunctions makes it possible to highlight different semantic perspectives of interest both in relation to research about mathematics texts and for teaching. 

    Methods

     A qualitative analysis is used to thoroughly understand how different textual means are used in mathematics teaching material and which meaning that is offered to the reader. A sample of mathematics texts that introduces proportionality are analysed. In this study both digital and printed teaching material are referred to as text. The texts are of different types to obtain a breadth and to enable a comparison between texts with different purposes. Both teaching materials used in the primary school (11 years old) and teaching materials intended for a sub-group of upper secondary school students (16 years old) are analysed. These two types of texts are analysed to illuminate how the language resources are used for students at different levels in the education. Both printed texts and digital teaching materials are also analysed. Digital teaching material and printed mathematics text have different means available; in the digital media sound, film and interactive elements may be utilized. Those elements are important to include in the analysis to represent the whole composition of representations offered by the teaching material. However, in the initial analysis of the digital teaching materials only texts and images has been analysed in detail, something that has been taken into account in relation to these preliminary results. The final analysis will be complemented with a multimodal analysis focusing on interactive elements, film, and sound in the digital teaching material (see O’Halloran, 2011); focusing on how these elements interact with other components of the material. 

    The analytical tool has been developed based on previous work by Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), O’Halloran (2005, 2007), and Royce (2007). An emphasis is in the analytical tool put on its ability to distinguish between subject specific and everyday multisemiotic register, and on how particular affordances of the semiotic resources are used . In this study subject specific register is defined as language with a technical meaning or used with a technical meaning in the subject of mathematics, language that is not part of the everyday language for the intended readers. The analysis of digital and printed teaching material is conducted at two levels; first the natural language and the images are analysed separately. Thereafter the intersemiotic complementarity of the texts is analysed. The inclusion of both levels of analysis is motivated since the different elements of the text both function separately and together as a whole to express meaning. 

    Expected outcomes 

    The study will contribute with knowledge about the potential of multimodal resources to express meaning in textbooks and digital teaching materials. The preliminary analysis show that by taking advantage of the affordances of the different semiotic resources the ideational meaning can be expressed in a coherent way. Such an example can be found in a text introducing proportionality with an example. Speed is illustrated by a cartoon image representing a moving person and an explanatory sentence. Thereafter the mathematical content is presented utilizing subject-specific expressions, in natural language and in a graph. The cartoon is however included in the graph, which gives coherence to the text by making relations between the everyday content and the subject specific more pronounced. An opposite to this use of images are when images are used in a solely illustrative purpose. 

    Another result is that in the textbook as well as in the digital material for year 5, there is an evident personal voice expressed by persons present in the images or by proper names or personal pronouns in the written text. These features serves as subjects in the texts as well as in the images. The personal voice can signal to the reader that mathematics is something that concerns people's everyday lives. In the analysed material for upper secondary school, personal voice is used more sparsely. Instead, the mathematical objects functions a subjects, both in the texts and in the images. In this way, a distance between the reader and the mathematical content is expressed. In summary the results from the analysis of material written for different student groups, both in print and digital media, contribute with examples of how the different semiotic resources can function as meaning making resources. 

    References

    Abel, K. & Exley, B. (2008). Using Halliday’s functional grammar to examine early years worded mathematics texts. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy. 31(3), 227-241. 

    Brenner, M. E., Herman, S., Ho, H-Z., & Zimmer, J. M. (1999). Cross National Comparison of Representative Competence. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30 (5), 541–557. 

    Dimmel, J. K., & Herbst, P. G. (2015). The semiotic structure of geometry diagrams: How textbook diagrams convey meaning. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 46 (2), 147-195. 

    Halliday, M., & Matthiessen, C. (2014). Halliday's introduction to functional grammar (4.th ed.). Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge. 

    Knain, E. (2005). Identity and genre literacy in high-school students' experimental reports', International Journal of Science Education, 27:5, 607 - 624. 

    Kress, G. (2005). Gains and losses: New forms of texts, knowledge, and learning. Computers and Composition, 22, 5–22. 

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