Spontaneous Gestures Can Help Children Learn
[Source: Medical News Today]
Spontaneous gesture can help children learn, whether they use a spoken language or sign language, according to a new report.
Previous research by Susan Goldin-Meadow, the Beardsley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Psychology, has found that gesture helps children develop their language, learning and cognitive skills. As one of the nation’s leading authorities on language learning and gesture, she has also studied how using gesture helps older children improve their mathematical skills.
Goldin-Meadow’s new study examines how gesturing contributes to language learning in hearing and in deaf children. She concludes that gesture is a flexible way of communicating, one that can work with language to communicate or, if necessary, can itself become language. The article is published online by Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B and will appear in the Sept. 19 print issue of the journal, which is a theme issue on “Language as a Multimodal Phenomenon.”