Looking Beyond Words: Gestures in the Pedagogy of Second Languages in Multilingual Canada
This book is a result of the growing number of insights found in recent research on gesture studies and language acquisition, which have renewed the attention of scholars in gesture functions and meanings in communication and language learning. Observation of the participation of both gesture and speech in the formulation of meaning has revealed that communication is typically multimodal. This perspective has produced engrossing research questions, particularly in contexts where the combination of languages and cultures is complex and diversified. Competence in multiple languages and in different semiotic systems inevitably impacts the way in which people interact and learn languages. Given its status as a country of immigration, Canada provides such a context for this study.
This book discusses the changes that the literature on gesture studies can help implement in current practices of language pedagogy. By including gesture as a nonverbal dimension of language and as a means for language acquisition, it provides a contrast to those traditions that have viewed gesture as a marginal aspect of communication and language learning. In addition, this book offers the results of three research studies in Italian language classes in Canada, showing that gesture enables a multimodal approach in language pedagogy and a richer experience for both teachers and learners.
Giuliana Salvato is Associate Professor of Italian and Second Language Education at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She earned her Laurea from the University of Padova, Italy, and her PhD from the University of Toronto. Her publications combine the fields of second language acquisition, gesture studies, and multilingualism.
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