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At the community college where I teach math, I find that a major area of
concern is different conventions between countries, such as the use of a
decimal point or comma in reading/writing numbers.  Also students in other
countries often learn to use different conventions with writing down their
work, though the examples may follow a similar process. (A simple example of
this would be a Cuban student's method of multiplication with multi-digit
numbers.  Where we start at the right hand digit for our multiplication and
move each subsequent product to the left, she started with the left hand
digit and moved each subsequent product to the right.)  A final concern that
I have is any differences in terminology preferences and vocabulary
translations.  It might be as simple as one country emphasizing the term
rational expressions and another the term algebraic equations and the student
is fine once the terms are related to each other but it can cause initial
confusion.

For resources into this area - I have been unable to find any so far other
than the ESL instructors on staff.  I have heard of a dictionary or
mathematical terms that might help but haven't been able to find it as of yet.
Admittedly, I am just starting my search in this area because of an increase
in ESL students in my classes from non-traditional locations but I would be
interested in hearing if you find any resources in this area.


MaryLiz Pierce
GateWay Community College
Phoenix, AZ