Los gestos y la enseñanza de palabras poco familiares: ¿Cuándo emplean las maestras información gestual?

Alejandra Beatriz Menti, Florencia Alam


This study aims to analyze the gestures that teachers employ in the treatment of unknown words in science classes in the primary school. The corpus consists of interactional sequences (Goodwin & Heritage, 1990; Schegloff, 1990) coming from 12 teaching situations video-recorded in 1st, 3rd and 5th grade of 4 schools, 2 in rural zones and 2 in urban zones, located in the Province of Córdoba, Argentina. In the interactional sequences the teachers used words that were unfamiliar for the children. A qualitative analysis was carried out (Strauss & Corbin, 1991) that allowed us to compare the sequences in which the teachers explain, define or repair each of the selected unfamiliar words. Results show that, different from other reported studies, teachers' use of gestures is not only associated with the unfamiliar term employed but in response to the children's verbal and/or gestual actions indicating a possible lack of conceptual understanding.


gestures, interactional sequence, language learning, language teaching

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