Reading and writing mathematics
Strength of Evidence Transferability Editors' Comments 
Reading and writing mathematicsMuch attention is given in schools to supporting learners to read and write, whether this is in mother tongue or in learning a foreign language. Far less attention is given to support learners with reading and writing using the language of mathematics. Not being fluent in reading and writing mathematics can have serious consequences for a learner's understanding and attainment. Lack of fluency is not necessarily related to the 'ability' of learners to do mathematics. Fluency is part of mathematical literacy which also includes verbal communication skills and is described by Meltzer (2001) as:
Language in mathematics is symbolic and has some specific characteristics that make the reading and writing of mathematics more complex. At the same time this complexity also makes mathematics a rich and interesting subject. Reading and writing mathematics is a 'multifaceted task because the reader is challenged to acquire comprehension and mathematical understanding with fluency and proficiency through the reading of numerals and symbols, in addition to words' (Adams, 2003: 786). Identifying learners who are struggling with reading and writing of mathematics is not always straight forward and requires an awareness of potential issues. Perhaps the emphasis should be on supporting all learners, at whatever age and level of learning mathematics with the reading and writing of mathematics. Strategies to support the reading and writing of mathematics are similar to those in language learning and can be easily incorporated in everyday mathematics lessons. See the following MESH Guides: Reluctant Writers,Spelling. More Guides in literacy will becoming shortly. References
