Gesture refers to a multitude of movements that people employ when talking, such as moving their hands and arms, adjusting their posture, touching themselves (e.g., caressing their hair), various (nervous) ticks, and other fidgeting actions (Kendon, 1996). As a result, gestures are an important part of human development, learning, and communication, and there is a strong link between movements and speech. As we all know, a growing number of studies claim that language is made up of both voice and gestures, constituting a single “composite signal” (McNeill, 1992).Language acquisition and learning, in this view, entails the acquisition of gestures as well as words.
The Importance of Gestures in Second Language Acquisition
The process of acquiring a second language, often known as L2 acquisition, is the process through which humans learn a new language.
Internal characteristics such as age, personality, motivation, experiences, and cognition, according to some research, impact the speed and ease with which a new language is learned. People also utilize gestures as a technique when trying to convey themselves in a foreign language, according to research. Gestures assist in conveying meaning and compensating for speech difficulties (Goldin-Meadow, 2003); when gestures are used during the learning of words and phrases, they improve memory compared to pure verbal encoding (Zimmer et al., 2001); gestures, as nonverbal behaviors, must be considered as a key factor in second language acquisition (Zimmer et al., 2001).
The speaker does not attempt to instruct, but the actual gestural depiction of the sentence may assist a less informed listener to assume the meaning of terms unfamiliar to him (Calbris, 1990). The bulk of gestures made by speakers occurs at the same time as spoken words with similar meanings. Gestures, on the other hand, are not fully redundant with speech because they frequently indicate abstract ideas that cannot be expressed solely through speech (Kita and Zyürek, 2003). Researchers have argued over how much gestures and speech are intertwined and how much they can be separated (McNeill, 1992) Both L2 speakers and listeners benefit from the use of gestures in conjunction with a vocal message.
The Importance of Gestures in the Teaching of Second Languages
Although these studies give some light on the importance of gestures in second language learning, they don’t go into detail about how teachers use gestures in the classroom. Teachers in L2 classrooms conduct in a specific style, and they frequently utilize assisting gestures to ensure that the pupils understand them better. The gestures employed by L2 teachers in second language education differ from common communicative gestures, and the learners sometimes rely on the gestures to understand what the instructor says.
“Gesture functions as both a tool for communication for listeners and a tool for thinking for speakers,” according to Goldin-Meadow (2003). Gestures assist speakers in retrieving words from memory and lessen cognitive load.
The literature in L2 education gives several examples of non verbals being used as effective teaching tools and in classroom management in the early studies. According to previous research, nonverbal communication, particularly gestures, can be used to: (1) manage participation, (2) signal changes, (3) identify who is to answer, (4) prompt choral response, (6) mark the starts and endings of classes, and (7) give students a sense of what to expect (Ward and Raffler-Engel, 1980).
Teachers, according to Barnett, should create a standard set of hand or arm motions to help pupils learn (Barnett, 1983). Moving the arm upward, for example, could signal the pupils to create a query, whereas swinging the arm downward demands a response.
The Connection Between Gesture Use and L2 Proficiency
The majority of studies on L2 learners’ usage link between L2 and gestures was investigated through a series of gestures.The quantity of gestures used and linguistic proficiencyThey also infer some possible correlations between the variables.level of proficiency and utilization of specific gestures among L2 students Adult foreign language learners, according to Nobe’s research,More gestures are used by learners than by native speakers, and periods of difficulty for foreign language speakers.
The act of expressing oneself is accompanied by a as a result of an increase in the quantity and frequency of gesticulations (Nobe, 1993).The findings of this study revealed that learners with higher levels of language proficiency are more likely than their less proficient counterparts to utilize gestures that improve the meaning of the spoken communication and contribute to increased communicative competence.
Furthermore, advanced learners used much more speech-related, meaning-enhancing gestures in their native English than they did in the target language, and individuals used significantly more gestures overall in their native English than they did in the target language.Given the many types of gestures, the question inevitably arises:
Is there a link between the various types of gestures and language proficiency? According to one study, children in their weaker language used more conventional and deictic gestures without words to communicate, whereas symbolic gestures were not utilized more frequently in their better language.
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1. What impact do gestures have on learning?
Ans: Previous study has demonstrated that co-occurring gestures with speech can help people understand abstract topics by embodying their underlying meaning and making them more accessible to the listener.
2. What is the significance of gestures in nonverbal communication?
Ans: All of your nonverbal behaviors—your gestures, posture, tone of voice, and amount of eye contact—send powerful messages. They may either put people at ease, develop trust, and attract others to you, or they can offend, confuse, and detract from what you’re attempting to communicate.
3. What gestures do you use to assist you learn new words?
Ans: According to the findings, adult brains engage motor areas to remember foreign-language words. Even moving the words to a new context improved the situation: Learners were more likely to employ new terminology in new sentences when it was accompanied by gestures.
4.Do hand motions qualify as language?
Ans: After all, gestures aren’t considered part of the language. (Is it the case?) However, removing gestures is perplexing from another perspective because individuals utilize gestures everywhere they use language — any language. Gesture is universal, just like language, and, as we’ll see, gesture and language are inextricably linked.