Gesture and Speech in the Vocabulary Explanations of One ESL Teacher: A Microanalytic Inquiry

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Abstract

This article takes a microanalytic perspective on the speech and gestures used by one teacher of English as a second language in her intensive English program classroom. Videotaped excerpts from her intermediate-level grammar course were transcribed to represent the speech, gesture, and other nonverbal behavior that accompanied unplanned explanations of vocabulary that arose during three focus-on-form lessons. The gesture classification system of McNeill (1992), which delineates different types of hand movements (iconics, metaphorics, deictics, beats), was used to understand the role the gestures played in these explanations. Results suggest that gestures and other nonverbal behavior are forms of input to classroom second language learners that must be considered a salient factor in classroom-based second language acquisition research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-117
Number of pages39
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

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