ERIC Number: EJ1038029
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
When Hands Speak Louder than Words: The Role of Gesture in the Communication, Encoding, and Recall of Words in a Novel Second Language
Morett, Laura M.
Modern Language Journal, v98 n3 p834-853 Fall 2014
In the interest of clarifying how gesture facilitates L2 word learning, the current study investigates gesture's influence on three interrelated cognitive processes subserving L2 word learning: communication, encoding, and recall. Individuals unfamiliar with Hungarian learned 20 Hungarian words that were either accompanied or unaccompanied by gestures depicting their referents, and taught the meanings of the words to interlocutors who were also unfamiliar with Hungarian. All participants were then tested for their recall of target words. The results show that gesture facilitates all three cognitive processes, supporting the predictions of McNeill's ([McNeill, D., 2005]) growth point theory. Furthermore, the results indicate that gesture production facilitates all of the cognitive processes more effectively than gesture viewing. Overall, the results demonstrate that gesture can serve as an effective cognitive aid for L2 word learning by beginning L2 learners, particularly in task-focused, conversational settings.
Descriptors: Role, Second Language Learning, Nonverbal Communication, Vocabulary Development, Recall (Psychology), Hungarian, Cognitive Processes, Testing, Prediction, Linguistic Theory
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: US Department of Defense
Authoring Institution: N/A