Saturday, 18 July 2009

Maths Is Just Another Language

"I don't understand maths!"

Does this sound familiar?

This statement is not only from young learners, but from adults too.

What actually happened?

Maths is interestingly unique. This is so because it represents a different way of presenting messages.

Maths is a "short form" of written langauge.

It is like the short-hand symbols that many people use to note down minutes of meeting.

What is 1 + 3 = 4?
In the common English language, it simply means "one added to three equals four".
Nothing different.
However, visually, the maths equation is encoded with symbols.

What is this "+" and "="?
If you do not understand the meaning and usage of these two symbols, then you are lost.
Thetefore, learning and understanding maths is knowing the unique symbols presenting the "message".

How about 3y = 24. What is "y"?

The question is finding "y" given the relationship above.
The equation in English means "When we multiply "y" by 3, it gives 24".

The solution, thus, it English, is: If I divide this 24 by 3, I will get the answer that is 24/3 = 8.
In maths concept: 3y = 24 ===> y = 24/3 = 8.

It is the interpretation of the maths symbol and its communication with the learners that is key to doing maths.

It is not difficult if you understand the language of maths.

Maths is interesting!


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