Word problems make up a considerable part of the primary mathematics curriculum and continue to be important right through secondary school. Word problems are also particularly demanding linguistically, often using just a few words to portray a scene and create a mathematical problem. In her multicultural classroom in an urban primary school, Julie, like many other teachers, devotes much preparation and classroom time to work on word problems. She works on both the mathematics involved in solving the problems and the language used, such as particular vocabulary, as well as on the link between the problem and the context it invokes. I am interested in the perspective of those of her students who are learning English as an additional language. How do they make sense of word problems? What are their interpretations based on? And how can we find out?