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  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 4279

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/learning-a-language-may-come-down-to-gestures/2012/01/03/gIQAJ5fFmP_story.html

Has anyone seen this? It has implications both for our teaching of English and our learning of Korean. Interesting stuff. How might you apply it to classroom teaching (and to your Korean study)?


  • Andy84
  • Veteran

    • 112

    • April 13, 2012, 01:12:11 am
    • Dublin, Ireland
Re: Gestures make it easier to learn a language, researchers discover
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 07:33:29 am »
When I was doing my TEFL course, during the weekend practical, our teacher started speaking to us on the second day in Spanish with no warning. None of us had a word of Spanish. He conducted a 20 minute lesson like this, using  only gestures. The looks on our faces must have been priceless, as we were able to follow his every request, without understanding a word of what he said.


Re: Gestures make it easier to learn a language, researchers discover
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 08:47:11 am »
Great post.

All this can go back to studies with primates in captivity who can use simple gestures to communicate with their handlers.


  • Cereal
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1239

    • March 16, 2011, 12:51:55 pm
    • Earth
    more
Re: Gestures make it easier to learn a language, researchers discover
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 10:19:35 am »
We French folks have known this for countless generations!

Oh yeah...Italians too  ;D

Personally, if you cut off my arms, I'd be mute.

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin


  • SBracken
  • Expert Waygook

    • 579

    • March 07, 2011, 07:41:22 am
    • Pohang, S Korea
Re: Gestures make it easier to learn a language, researchers discover
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 10:53:21 am »
I don't want to sound sour, but... duh....  ::)

"researchers discover"? I'd hate to be the one who signed off on that grant. In any case, now that the 'news' is out, I only hope the stiff-necked educators who stand in a classroom like a potted plant reading their monologue see this and take it to heart. Human beings are very kinesthetic creatures, and even abstract words, to use the article's example, like 'rather' can be gestured. Anybody who's studied or taught a foreign language, I would assume, would know that by instinct. But maybe that's my Italian side.....

This is especially laughable to me as (here in Korea) the vast majority of my students have next to no English. They being middle and high schoolers. I can and have taught entire classes without speaking a word- and they were all pretty darn successful.


  • woman-king
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1159

    • October 18, 2010, 03:56:29 pm
    • Gyeonggi
Re: Gestures make it easier to learn a language, researchers discover
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 11:50:25 am »
Great, interesting article!  Thanks for the link.  :)

I'll definitely be more cognizant of using movement/gestures in future lessons.


  • dansk
  • Veteran

    • 163

    • March 13, 2012, 12:26:55 pm
    • Inje-gun, Gangwon-do
Re: Gestures make it easier to learn a language, researchers discover
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 01:11:00 pm »
I'm a very physical person in the classroom, this so-called "discovery" should merely be instinctive knowledge for any good language teacher.  So when a Korean friend asked me if she could call me every now and then to talk on the phone and practise English, I cringed.  Phone conversations in a foreign language are difficult for a good reason.  I'll happily go out for dinner every now and then, but I WON'T do phone practise.