American Journal of Applied Sciences

The Role of Gesture in the Second Language Learning and Teaching

Ning Cao and Guanying Chen

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2017.1070.1074

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 14, Issue 12

Pages 1070-1074


This paper outlines the crucial role of gesture in the second Language (L2) learning and teaching. Many studies showed that gesture is a key factor in the second language acquisition since it can help to convey meaning, to compensate for speech difficulties and to enhance memory compared to pure verbal learning. The presence of gestures with a verbal message in L2 learning brings a positive outcome to both speakers and listeners. Studies showed that gestures not only facilitate L2 learners in second language listening comprehension, but also have a crucial impact on the L2 word learning. Also, gestures are used as effective teaching strategies in L2 teaching and classroom management. Thus, gesture as a facilitating educational tool in second language learning deserves both L2 learner and teacher’s further attentions.


© 2017 Ning Cao and Guanying Chen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.