LTS

Language Teaching Studies Blog Site at the University of Oregon

Faculty Post Keli Yerian – Gestures in the Classroom

| 0 comments

imagesThe spontaneous gestures people use while speaking have attracted more and more attention from watchful researchers across disciplines in the past decades. What can gestures reveal about the cognitive processes of speakers? How might they aid speakers to communicate and interact with others? Can gestures help us teach and learn?

As we teachers know, it’s always a good idea for us to watch ourselves on video (though it’s not always easy!). One benefit is to see how our gestures may be helping or hindering our teaching. Gestures can facilitate teaching in many ways, such as by illustrating an action or a metaphor, clarifying directions for tasks, or pointing out something in the room. Some gestures can be consciously planned, but many can be simply allowed to emerge naturally. Language learners will be grateful for these visual clues if they are engaging and informative – film yourself and see what you think!

As a fun exercise, see if you can guess what Javid is saying during these short GIFs from a recent, unrehearsed microteaching session he co-taught with classmate Juli here at UO a few weeks ago. Match the lines of transcript with the GIFs (they are not in the right order now). Click on each GIF to see it in action. Answers are given at the bottom of the post.

  • “Oftentimes it’s difficult for us to remember…”
  • “So these words are all signal words…”
  • “Please stand up”
  • “I approached the door…”
  • “In pairs, go to the boards here”
  • “That was in the past”

giphy (3)

giphy (1)

giphy (2)

o2PWmN

0RBjpG

W6RArE

Answers:

  1. “I approached the door…”
  2. “Please stand up”
  3. “That was in the past”
  4. “Oftentimes it’s difficult for us to remember…”
  5. “In pairs, go to the boards here”
  6. “So these words are all signal words…”

For more on this fascinating topic, read this review article on gesture in language teaching and learning by Jane Orton (2007): http://bit.ly/1s8U4qT

 

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Skip to toolbar