ERIC Number: EJ852853
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Gesture as a Support for Word Learning: The Case of "under"
McGregor, Karla K.; Rohlfing, Katharina J.; Bean, Allison; Marschner, Ellen
Journal of Child Language, v36 n4 p807-828 Sep 2009
Forty children, aged 1 ; 8-2 ; 0, participated in one of three training conditions meant to enhance their comprehension of the spatial term "under": the +Gesture group viewed a symbolic gesture for "under" during training; those in the +Photo group viewed a still photograph of objects in the "under" relationship; those in the Model Only group did not receive supplemental symbolic support. Children's knowledge of "under" was measured before, immediately after, and two to three days after training. A gesture advantage was revealed when the gains exhibited by the groups on untrained materials (but not trained materials) were compared at delayed post-test (but not immediate post-test). Gestured input promoted more robust knowledge of the meaning of "under", knowledge that was less tied to contextual familiarity and more prone to consolidation. Gestured input likely reduced cognitive load while emphasizing both the location and the movement relevant to the meaning of "under".
Descriptors: Photography, Visual Aids, Familiarity, Young Children, Nonverbal Communication, Language Processing, Form Classes (Languages), Vocabulary Development, Child Language, Language Acquisition, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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