By Anne Russell. The importance of language in understanding math — especially for bilingual students — is the topic of the next presentation in the UFV Research Lecture Series. The lecture is free and the public is welcome to attend.
“Every teacher is a language teacher,” is how Dr. Stan Manu’s describes the theme of his lecture. The Mathematics and Statistics instructor will speak on Mon, Mar 11 at 4 pm in UFV’s Abbotsford campus lecture theatre (Abby B101) on The Roles of Language(s) in Bilingual Students’ Understanding of Mathematics. His presentation is part of the UFV Research Lecture Series.
Born in Tonga, Manu has always had a love for math. “It started, I believe, from a very young age when I sometimes peeked into my mom’s purse to see how many loose coins she had and how much I could take for a lunch treat,” he explains.
Completing elementary and high school in Tonga, Manu went on pursue his undergraduate degree at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.
Manu’s love for math was solidified by his success in math competitions at a young age. A math teacher he had in grade school “really instilled the fundamental knowledge, love and joy of math in me,” he says. “I may still be the only Tongan to have been the top math student in the Australian Math Competition, winning a total of three different grade levels (8, 11 and 12).,”
Manu’s research focuses on the area of bilingual mathematics education. At the March 11 lecture, he will explain how addressing issues of language in content learning and teaching these is crucial.
“I will look at a particular bilingual situation where young mathematics students switch or alternate frequently between two languages during problem-solving discussions.”
Since joining UFV, Manu has been exposed to some new research ideas and opportunities. His next step is to work on research involving with pre- and in-service math teachers (Math 105/205 courses), aboriginal math students, and outreach work and activities throughout the communities of the Fraser Valley.
Presented by the Office of Research Services, the University Lecture Series showcases the research of UFV faculty members.