The importance of a content textbook, especially mathematics, is phenomenal. Some teachers often regard the textbook as the sole resource for their class instruction. However, they fail to question or analyze the textbook contents’ bias or perspective, whether linguistic, cultural, or political (Darvin, 2007). By analyzing textbook content, teachers can organize and sort the material by prioritizing the information to be learned and highlighting the most important instruction that will be addressed (Strahan & Herlihy, 1985). One of the most important components of any textbook is its academic language. Through analysis, the text’s academic language should be highlighted and studied to determine whether or not it coincides with students’ reading level or how it influences students’ work. In addition, by analyzing textbooks based on their academic language, the researcher gains a perspective to how the language will help increase students’ literacy skills.
Analysis of academic language
The first step to analyzing academic language of the text is to identify tier one, tier two and tier three words according to Beck, McKeown, & Kucan (2002). On page 42 of the geometry book, the first page of section 1.6: Classify Polygons, the book highlights the key vocabulary for this section on the side: polygon, side, vertex, convex, concave, n-gon, equilateral, equiangular, and regular. The first five of these terms are defined on this page. Other words that can be identified as tier level words are plane figure, segments, vertices, consecutive, interior, nonconvex, intersect, properties, collinear, and endpoint. The level of each word will be determined based on the importance of the word to the understanding of the rest of th...
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...he outside world.
Bean, T., Readence, J., & Baldwin, R. (2008). Content area literacy: An integrated approach (9th ed.). Dubuque: Kendal/Hunt.
Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2002). Choosing Words to Teach. Retrieved March 6,
2012 from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/40304/
Concave. (2012). Retrieved March 10, 2012 from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ concave
Darvin, J. (2007): Teaching critical literacy principles to Math and Science educators. Teaching
Education, 18 (3), 245-256.
Geometry Academic Vocabulary (2009). Retrieved March 6, 2012 from http://jc-schools.net/ tutorials/vocab/index.html
Ormrod, J. E. (2011). Educational psychology: Developing learners (7th ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson
Strahan, D & Herlihy, J. (1985). A model for analyzing textbook content. Journal of Reading, 28 (5), 438-443.
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