Saturday, December 14, 2013

Learning a Language with Gestures

I used this technique a little last year, I have to get back to it in a more systematic way. To put it bluntly - it works. The ease with which a student picks up the phrase when connected with a gesture is incredible. Its simple, point up and say arriba, point down abajo. Touch your tummy - tengo hambre. I taught the kids 7 expressions with ease in 10 minutes. At the end of the class I asked them again, there was immediate recall. The same the day after. They always understood, they were not always able to produce as some of the words were difficult to pronounce. However, if I continue doing this I can see the pronunciation coming with that. This is a great warm up that is complementary to any language class. I also asked the kids for an appropriate gesture for the word - they are great with that, plus it takes the pressure off the teacher.  This is a perfect example of right brain learning and it connects the body with the words.  I really need to develop this more. If they learned just 10 expressions a week this way for the whole year, they would learn a lot of language, language that is really learned, not just for a test. I am going to do more research on this to see whats out there.