We discuss language diversity in mathematics education research by considering the move from a view of language as representation that strives to correlate concepts, ideas, codes and signs towards addressing the representation politics of language. Language as representation of mathematics has framed the discursive construction of language diversity over the years in published research in our field. We argue that the representation politics of language as grounded in cultural and postcolonial studies enables us to see the meanings attributed to language diversity as resulting from a complex ‘circuit of culture’ in the realm of global and local identity politics. Three questions help us in this endeavour: (1) What are assumed as commonly shared meanings about language diversity? (2) How do they become present in prevailing discourses about the languages of mathematics, teachers and learners? (3) How may a view of language diversity as part of the ‘circuit of culture’ disturb the normative presence of such assumptions?
- Circuit of culture
- Cultural and postcolonial studies
- Language diversity
- Mathematics education research
- Politics of representation