A study reveals that gesture, gaze and spatial positioning are key when teaching English

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The study is part of her PhD project, which seeks to provide fresh insight into how knowledge is constructed.

Monica Clua, a member of the Institute for Multilingualism at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona), recently presented a study entitled “More than words can say: Embodied multimodality in an English-medium university lecture” at the Swiss Association for Applied Linguistics International Conference 2018, which took place from 6-8 June in Basel (Switzerland).

The study responds to concerns about lingua franca English as an effective medium to construct a learning experience in internationalised university classrooms. It looks principally at a lecturer’s mobilisation of gesture, gaze and spatial positioning, in addition to prosodic features of talk, to accomplish pedagogical and institutional objectives in this context.

“This study is part of a larger PhD project that looks to provide fresh insight into how knowledge is constructed within the traditional heavily oral and monologic perspective of university lectures”, explains Clua.

This annual conference addresses the science of language and communication within everyday and institutional settings, and the theme this year explored the use of video in revealing the structure of social interaction.