Spontaneous Gesturing in the EFL Classroom and its Impact on Interaction and Learning: A Case Study

Haifa H AlGhamdi, Fatimah M A Alghamdi

Abstract


The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ spontaneous use of non-verbal gesture cues in classroom atmosphere and in teaching and learning English vocabulary at college, EFL Saudi context. Two groups consisting of thirty-nine female students, who are studying in their preparatory year at a major Saudi university, and two female EFL teachers participated in the study. For one session each, the two groups were observed by one of the researchers and an independent observer. Each of the two groups’ teachers was observed while teaching her subject matter to students where the students had to learn a list of new English vocabulary items. Qualitative data from the classroom observation sessions were gathered to identify possible differences in nonverbal behavior and to explore its effect on classroom interaction and general atmosphere. Quantitative data, on the other hand, was gathered through vocabulary tests to find out if different EFL teachers’ nonverbal conduct will impact vocabulary learning. The findings of the study revealed that gesture has a positive impact on classroom interaction. Moreover, gesture has a significant impact on the EFL students’ vocabulary retention. Based on the data anlysis and findings of this study, several implications are made on the topic of gesture and its impact on language learning and classroom interaction for further research and classroom practices.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v5i2.11616

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