Gesture: A Window Onto the Mind in Thinking, Learning, and Teaching – Talk by Gale Stam | 25 March 2019, 5pm

This talk will discuss how gestures allow us to see speakers’ conceptualizations in first language and second language thinking for speaking and how speakers vary their gestures depending on the task they are engaged in and the proficiency of their interlocutor. It will present evidence from several studies that demonstrate that speakers’ gestures indicate how they are truly thinking and to what extent teachers use gestures to increase comprehension.

According to McNeill (1992, 2005, 2012) gestures are as much a part of language as speech is. Together gesture and speech develop from a ‘growth point’ that has both imagistic and verbal aspects. This model for verbal thought is “a ‘language-imagery’ or language-gesture dialectic” in which thought, language, and gesture develop over time and influence each other (McNeill, 2005 p.25).

Research on both the perception of speech and gesture (Kelly, Kravitz & Hopkins, 2004) and the production of speech and gesture (Marstaller & Burianová, 2014) have shown that the same areas of the brain are involved in both. In addition, empirical research (e.g., Chase & Wittman, 2013; Goldin-Meadow, Wein, and Chang, 1992; Goldin-Meadow & Alibali, 1995; Iverson & Goldin-Meadow, 2005; McNeill & Duncan, 2000; Özçalışkan & Goldin-Meadow, 2005, 2009; Stam, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010b, 2014; Stam & Tellier, 2017) on co-speech gestures indicates that gestures provide information about speakers’ thinking, learning, and teaching that speech alone does not.

Two areas where gestures have been shown to provide an enhanced window onto the mind are that of motion events and thinking for speaking (Stam 2007, 2010a, 2015) and that of language teachers’ gestures (Stam & Tellier, 2017; Tellier & Stam, 2012). This talk will discuss how gestures allow us to see speakers’ conceptualizations in first language and second language thinking for speaking and how speakers vary their gestures depending on the task they are engaged in and the proficiency of their interlocutor. It will present evidence from several studies (Stam, 2010a, 2015, 2016, 2017; Stam & Tellier 2017; Tellier, Stam, & Bigi, 2013) that demonstrate that speakers’ gestures indicate how they are truly thinking and to what extent teachers use gestures to increase comprehension.

BIO

Short version:

Gale Stam is Professor of Psychology at National Louis University in Chicago an alumna of the McNeill Lab – Center for Gesture and Speech Research at the University of Chicago. She has a M.A. in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognition and Communication) from the University of Chicago and extensive experience in teaching English as a second language. Her research interests include language and culture, language and cognition, gesture and first language and second language acquisition, and pedagogical gestures. She has published articles on changes in thinking for speaking, the importance of looking at gesture in second language acquisition, and language teachers’ gestures.

Long version:

Gale Stam, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois, where she has been a full-time faculty member since 1986. She is also an alumna of the McNeill Lab – Center for Gesture and Speech Research at the University of Chicago and was an invited researcher at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage (LPL) in Aix-en-Provence, France (February – June 2010). She has a M.A. in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognition and Communication) from the University of Chicago and extensive experience in teaching English as a second language.

Her research interests include language and culture, language and cognition, gesture and first language and second language acquisition, and pedagogical gestures. She has published articles on changes in thinking for speaking, the importance of looking at gesture in second language (L2) acquisition, gesture and lexical retrieval in a L2, and language teachers’ gestures. She is a member of editorial board of the journal Language and Sociocultural Theory and co-editor of two volumes on speech and gesture—Gesture: Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Research (Routledge, 2008) and Integrating Gestures: The Interdisciplinary Nature of Gesture (John Benjamins, 2011).

Her current research projects include a study of gestures in teacher talk (GTT) with Marion Tellier, Aix-Marseille University and CNRS Laboratoire Parole et Langage; a longitudinal study of L1 thinking for speaking; a longitudinal study of changes in L2 thinking for speaking; a project on teaching thinking for speaking with Jim Lantolf, Penn State University, Kimberly Buescher, University of Massachusetts – Boston, and Tetyana Smotrova, National University of Singapore; a project on gesture and preposition learning with Kimi Nakatsukasa, Texas Tech University, and Benjamin White, St. Michael’s College; and a project on understanding of thinking for speaking in Xhosa language speakers learning English in South Africa with Heather Brookes, University of Cape Town.

Gesture: A Window Onto the Mind in Thinking, Learning, and Teaching
Talk by Gale Stam
Professor at National Louis University, USA
When/Where
25 March 2019, 5pm
Room 006 – ID Building
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Av. Berna 26C, Lisboa

2019-03-21T16:24:31+00:00March 21st, 2019|Categories: ICNOVAEvents|