Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Sciences and Engineering
Speech and Rhetorical Studies
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.
Marks, Bailey Bell, "Talking Hands: Does gesture production help bilingual preschoolers learn words?" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 770.
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