Teaching Math In English

teaching-mathLast Saturday, December 27th 2008 I join a kind of small work shop. The work shop was about “How Teaching Math in English?” Of course this work shop was very interesting for me, because I am one of the lecturers in my department who always encourage my students to learn English and motivated them to be able to teach mathematics in English. In my opinion, to face the era of AFTA in few years to come, my students have to be prepared to compete with qualified teachers from many foreign countries. As we see right now, here in our country many international school have been growing like mushroom in many big cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Surakarta and Surabaya. The fact that many parents are very enthusiastic to send their children into international school by reason of quality are challenging for Indonesian educator to improve their quality and English as an international language is one important point should be accomplished by Indonesian teachers.

The members of the workshop were teachers from some RSBI (Rintisan Sekolah Berstandar Internasional) that already have some classes that using English as an introduction language and some post graduate students from SPS UPI. There were three speakers in that forum, first was Prof. DR. Jozua Sabandar, M.Sc who delivered a speech about the strategy in teaching mathematics in English he gave some samples of instruction in teaching about pattern. The second speaker was Prof. Yaya Kusumah, P.hD who not only delivered a speech about teaching set and basic operation in English but also trained us how to read and spoke some words, terms, and languages that related with mathematics instruction one by one. And the last speaker was DR. Turmudi, M.Sc who delivered the strategy of teaching Pythagorean Theorem in English in inquiry method.

This work shop was very important for teachers and educator that want to improve their skill in teaching math using English. We not only get some paper about the topic that was explained by the speakers but also get some simple English-mathematics dictionary that was a little bit difficult to find in book stores or even in internet especially for the symbols that were very specific in mathematics. I prepared for the next posting I will share some of the terms for all of you. Unfortunately, this forum was not design for discussion forum, so the member only have little practice in speaking English especially in explaining the mathematics opinion to other using English. As we know, that explaining mathematics concept was not simple task even in Bahasa Indonesia, it needs some skills. That was why, it was very important to build skill in delivering opinion about mathematics concept for mathematics teachers.

Some of my friends always asking, “How I learned English?” especially learned speaking English. Based on my experiences learning English was very effective when you try to use it. One of my lecturers who finished her master degree in Australian and U S was very kindly to give opportunity to me to learn English by active conversation with her. So in every time and every place that I met her I should speak English with her. Even for the first time it was very hard for me but time to time I was getting used with it. I didn’t care many negative insights from friends of mine. Just be my self, this was the right path for learn. Since that time I am getting used to speak English in the time which I needed. And because of this I got some job from the school that has immersion classes for teaching mathematics in English. I also implemented this method to my students who want to learn English. I ask them to try using English in our communication even by email or sms.

This writing is also a kind of practicing English in the term of writing ability for me. Hopefully, it can increase my skills and also give motivation for all of you to learn English.


9 thoughts on “Teaching Math In English

  1. Assalamu’alaikum Warohmatullahi Wabarokatuh..
    I’m math’s teacher in SMA, but i don’t know which i will teach because i’m waiting ‘SK’ right now. I ‘m studying english in LIA Solo now, i take conversation’s class because i want to speak in english well. But i don’t have friend who i can speak in english with her, so i still feel difficult to speak in english.
    I want to teach math in English too. I hope any learning for educator in english, may be one day in a week. i hope too that goverment make a program “every School give oppurtunity for their teachers to study English in School or there is english day in school”.
    he..2x, this my comment is a kind of practising English,if any fault i hope to be reminded.
    thank a lot for my lecturer,miss.farida,,,,,,

  2. ‘Alaikumsalam Baiti,..

    I’am glad to know that you are brave enough to try writing in English in my blog. This is good way to improve your English.
    Actually you don’t have to wait for the goverment’s programe but try to make the program by your self in your community,
    just like when i still in Solo we tried to make an english club in our departement wasn’t it?!
    Don’t affraid of making mistakes because we can learn from it. 🙂


  3. To : siti nur baiti.

    1. I’m a math’s teacher in SMA
    2. I don’t know which one can be started because I’ve been waiting for SK.
    3. I’ve been still studying english in LIA for conversation class, because I want to speak english properly.
    4. But I don’t have any friend to whom I can practice my english
    5. that’s way so difficult for me to speak in english.
    6. I want to teach math in english either
    7. I hope there would be special training for educator to enchance teacher’s ability in teaching english math
    8. And I’m looking forward to goverment to create a matter programe.
    9. So The School have oppurtunity for their teachers to take a part or The School have their own english program
    10. That all my comments
    11. Any mistaken, I hope you correct them
    12. Thank a lots to my Instructor, Miss Farida

    To : Farida

    1. you brave enough to try to writting in english…..
    2. Those are good ways to ……
    3. When I had been in Solo….
    4. We had tried
    5. Don’t be affraid of any mistaken
    6. We can learn from them

  4. Dear Instructor,…

    What a nice comment 🙂 Thank You very much for the correction.
    I hope You can give some advises to us in learning English, so we can improve our English progresivelly

    Best Regards

  5. Hello,…

    With my Pleasure Alex. Ok You can give the link to me, and then I will add to my links.


    Best Regards.

  6. I’m one of the student at post graduated University of Medan. I can’t write English well. Sorry if my English in this comment was so bad, but like your advise “Don’t be affraid of any mistaken”. I’ve tried to write. I was very interested when I have read your blog about teaching math in English. So what we have to do now are how to increase the teacher’s ability in writing and speaking English. I hope that the government pay attention about our spirit to make the powerful change in our education. the government have to planned about education program include the teacher’s ability in English. Ms Farida I just want to say that “Don’t ever stop to be the motivator for us to make the wonderful change in Indonesia Mathematic’s Education”.

  7. Dear Devi,…

    Great Devi!…,one of my best friends has been a lecturer in university of Medan, her name is similar with my last name. She has a great motivation to be a reformational agent in mathematics education department.

    I think your English is quite good too. We just need to practice more and more 🙂 Right?
    We don’t have to wait the goverment action, ( I think, it is because they have many complicated problems :)). We can contribute to the education development program by doing something that we can do. Start from ourself, improve our ability then try to spread out into the nearest enviroments. Devi, Don’t ever stop struggling to increase the quality of mathematics education in Indonesia 🙂

    Thank you for your motivation, I hope we can side by side give contribution to the development of mathematics education in our country.

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