Abstract: There is neurocognitive support for gestures being closely related to spoken language (Willems & Hagoort, 2007) and evidence that gestures support language learning, comprehension and memory (Macedonia & Klimesch, 2014) but how to best use them in diverse classrooms is up for debate. Teachers everywhere are challenged by the need to include children who have very different abilities. Codified classroom gestures to support foreign language word learning may be especially helpful here.
This practical tutorial explores using gestures on the level of morphology in language teaching. It begins by reporting on a theater-based experiment on spatial preposition learning with refugee and grade six pupils in Germany and Poland. Following this input we will use gestures as the primary teaching tool to investigate a traditional story adapted for beginning learners of English.
(max. 20 individuals; open for gesture researchers, linguists as well as teachers and students of education who are interested in multimodal foreign language learning and teaching.)
Macedonia, M., & Klimesch, W. (2014). Long-Term Effects of Gestures on Memory for Foreign Language Words Trained in the Classroom. Mind, Brain, and Education, 8, 74–88.
Willems, R. M., & Hagoort, P. (2007). Neural evidence for the interplay between language, gesture, and action: A review. Brain and Language, 101, 278–289. doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2007.03.004