• Rationale of the conference

  • Organisation

  • YERME preconference day

Rationale of the conference

In the context of the ERME Handbook project, the survey work regarding two decades of ERME research in the domain of mathematics and language has shown the dominance of classroom-based research. Since the beginning of ERME, in the working group entitled ‘Social interaction in mathematical learning situations’ and in the present working group, ‘Mathematics and language’ (TWG09), the study of language has seen a shift from distinguishing between the language of the teacher, the language of the students and the language of mathematics, towards a more integrated understanding, with research focusing on the language in interaction and the role of language in meaning making. This is exemplified in the shifts in the number of papers and presentations at ETC4 and at CERME11 (Utrecht, 2019), where a growing number of classroom-based papers were presented and discussed in the sessions.

In order to understand the contemporary domain and move forward, we need to carefully review the complexity involved when conceptualising language in this integrated way. Intensive discussion framed by review work and new work in the domain has the potential to situate newer work and directions in light of the progress and necessities of the domain.

The conference then intends to develop a strong discussion environment. The participation of senior researchers together with post-doc and doctoral students is also pursued as a key priority.


The major theme of the ETC, ‘Language in the Mathematics Classroom’, will be organised into the following overlapping subthemes (ST):

  • ST1: Language in multilingual contexts
  • ST2: Language for meaning making
  • ST3: Language in interaction

These subthemes cover the key foci of most papers presented at CERME11. ST1 will include papers where the multilingual nature of context is the focus of the discussion. Where the focus is more towards the conceptual understanding of particular mathematical ideas such as multiplication, angle or proof, these papers will be grouped in ST2. ST3 will then consist of papers where the papers focus on classroom interactions and discursive practices such as argumentation or explaining.

We expect between 20 and 40 submissions for active contributions in the working sessions. The sessions will be split into 2-3 subgroups per session. Communication between the participants and the different subthemes will be promoted through flexible groupings in different sessions. There will also be 1-2 sessions that focus on themes that cross the subthemes, such as implications for teacher education or design research design. The majority of the scientific programme will consist of discussion in small working groups (5 sessions of 2 hours each). There will also be two plenaries to establish the theme and a commentary panel to formulate questions and interesting topics drawn from the working sessions with a view to moving the field forward.

YERME preconference day

In order to promote and support young researchers (where young means novice to the field of mathematics education and language), the conference is preceded by a preconference day in which young researchers can discuss their projects with members of the IPC, as well as get a structured overview on the current state of the field.