Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

Linda Milosky

Honors Reader

Amanda Brown

Capstone Major

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Abstract

As multilingualism grows throughout the world, so does the need to develop appropriate teaching methods for the multilingual population, especially during the crucial stages of language acquisition that occur during childhood. Bilingual children must develop two vocabularies concurrently; this is a difficult task for many, but non-speech expression of language such as gestures may aid the process of acquiring new words in one’s vocabulary. The mirror neuron system provides a physiological basis for the connection between language centers in the brain and the execution and observation of hand movements. To examine how using gestures affects children’s word learning, the researcher taught nouns that were science vocabulary words using a single-subject, alternating treatments design with two different conditions: speech production and speech and gesture production. The design was replicated across two children. The results suggested that gesture may have facilitated learning of new words in one child, but not the other. Reasons for such individual differences will be discussed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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