In a message dated 97-02-27 05:36:25 EST, you write:
<< Perhaps as I came from a literacy background I still want the written word as part of my student/teacher communication? >>
Surely, every child has learned at a very early age to cope with confusion and frustration stemming from the ambiguities of language. Many words have no concrete meaning at all. Some are redefined throughout life. i.e. "Love, Heart, Soul" When Father said "STOP THAT" it didn't mean the same as when Mother said it.
Please comment on the possibility that this contributes to a sense of confusion (phobia) that many feel about math. We write a formula or a linear arithmetic problem like 2+X=3. Or 2A+X=6. Sometimes we say something in math is a "sentence" and we presume that students know that each element of these expressions is well defined, has only one meaning and can be either calculated or assigned a value (unknowns and variables) with no doubt as to existence. (At least in elementary maths.)
Is "sentence" a well chosen word in maths education?