Recurring and shared gestures in the L2 classroom: Resources for teaching and learning

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    This paper reports on one use of gestures in the acquisition of a second language. The data are drawn from the MAELC database at Portland State University, an audio-visual corpus consisting of 4,000 hours of recordings of American English L2 classroom interaction collected over several years. These data enable us to trace processes of L2 learning and development in the same individuals over time. This pilot study forms part of a larger on-going project investigating embodied L2 construction learning and investigates how return gestures (with which recipients display on-going understanding of the embodied activities of a speaker) create an ad hoc package of gesture and talk. We argue that these packages of return gestures and talk are born out of trouble solving situations. They can form a resource for future solutions of related trouble until they eventually disappear from use. In the paper we analyse three cases. In the first one we show in detail how ad hoc item + gesture units are established in trouble talk. In the two other cases, we show how such units are deployed at a later date in the service of sense-making and remembering.

    TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Applied Linguistics
    Udgave nummer1
    Sider (fra-til)139–161
    StatusUdgivet - jun. 2013


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