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ERIC Number: EJ826795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0169-0965
Brief Training with Co-Speech Gesture Lends a Hand to Word Learning in a Foreign Language
Kelly, Spencer D.; McDevitt, Tara; Esch, Megan
Language and Cognitive Processes, v24 n2 p313-334 Feb 2009
Recent research in psychology and neuroscience has demonstrated that co-speech gestures are semantically integrated with speech during language comprehension and development. The present study explored whether gestures also play a role in language learning in adults. In Experiment 1, we exposed adults to a brief training session presenting novel Japanese verbs with and without hand gestures. Three sets of memory tests (at five minutes, two days and one week) showed that the greatest word learning occurred when gestures conveyed redundant imagistic information to speech. Experiment 2 was a preliminary investigation into possible neural correlates for such learning. We exposed participants to similar training sessions over three days and then measured event-related potentials (ERPs) to words learned with and without co-speech gestures. The main finding was that words learned with gesture produced a larger Late Positive Complex (indexing recollection) in bi-lateral parietal sites than words learned without gesture. However, there was no significant difference between the two conditions for the N400 component (indexing familiarity). The results have implications for pedagogical practices in foreign language instruction and theories of gesture-speech integration. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures and 4 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A