An Investigation of the Effect of Beat and Iconic Gestures on Memory Recall in L2 Speakers

Eleni Ioanna Levantinou
Copenhagen University, Denmark

Costanza Navarretta
Copenhagen University, Denmark

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Ingår i: Proceedings from the 3rd European Symposium on Multimodal Communication, Dublin, September 17-18, 2015

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 105:6, s. 32-37

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Publicerad: 2016-09-16

ISBN: 978-91-7685-679-6

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Previous studies have showed that iconic hand gestures aid memory recall and support comprehension in adults and children native speakers. In this paper, we investigate whether gestures might have an assisting role in second language acquisition. Repeating a previous experiment formed on native speakers, we used three types of stimuli (list of words accompanied by iconic gestures, beat gestures and no gestures) in order to test in which state the participants remember the most words. The result was that iconic gestures, compared to the other two states, provided significant support in memory recall and comprehension. However such an effect was not found with beat gestures whose presence gave worse results than the condition where no gestures were provided. This may indicate that beat gestures augmented the cognitive load of L2 speakers who have not learned yet how to interpret them.


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