The language of engagement in two highly interactive undergraduate mathematics classrooms

Vilma Mesa*, Peichin Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


We report an analysis of the language used by two instructors teaching two undergraduate mathematics classes that exhibited high student participation yet differed in their level of dialogical engagement. We focus on the way instructors' language contributes to opening or closing the opportunities for students' engagement with mathematical dialog, in turn establishing parameters for students' agency in the classroom discourse. We found ways in which instructors used language to determine different student engagement. How instructors use their linguistic resources in engaging students may facilitate or forestall dialogic possibilities, which in turn can influence students' performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-100
Number of pages18
JournalLinguistics and Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • College instruction
  • Engagement system
  • Mathematics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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