Brain-based learning researcher Erick Jensen writes about research that shows the importance of gestures in teaching and learning at “When Clear Instruction And Visual Aids Are Not Enough.”
When I teach Beginning English Language Learners, I have students use gestures when using Total Physical Response (TPR), when learning verb tenses (having them point down for present, to the back for past, and in front for future), and also writing words in the “air” when learning new vocabulary. These seem to work very well.
I really haven’t, though, had students in mainstream classes intentionally use gestures.
How about you? How do you have students use gestures — in either the ESL/EFL classroom or in mainstream classes?