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北京第二外国语学院学报  2018, Vol. 40 Issue (4): 115-130    DOI: 10.12002/j.bisu.134
An Empirical Study on the Effectiveness of Gesture in L2 Listening Class
Xiaoyun ZHONG1,Yuan GAO2
1. Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
2. Department of Foreign Languages, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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关键词: 听力理解手势语中介听力教学    

Gestures are gaining attention in second language acquisition for their close connection with speech, despite the fact that empirical research on gestures’ validity is in deficiency. Researchers have been especially interested in the input effect of gestures, i.e. whether gestures play a positive role in L2 learners’ comprehension. To study gestures’ validity in listening comprehension, this research selected subjects from 183 L2 learners and divided them into high and low score groups, testing their listening skills under three conditions, audio, audio & face, and audio, face & hand/arm gestures. Subjects achieved highest score after watching videos containing hand/arm gestures, and subjects in low score group behaved significantly better. And gestures helped subjects in low score group understand both concrete things and abstract metaphors. From the perspective of the Sociocultural Theory, this research verifies that gestures enhance language learners’ competence in constructing meaning during communication, and gestures are valid mediation in students’ listening comprehension. Gestures help listeners to accurately segment speech flows and draw visual attention to important information. Gestures also represent, explain and complement the meaning of speech, making the intended meaning more concrete and imaginable, and subjects can understand the meaning of unfamiliar words by watching gestures. Besides, the appearance of gestures enables subjects to code information in both phonological and visual channels, and avoid cognitive overload in working memory. Our research results also indicate that gestures have significant mediation effect. Gestures are useful communicative tools, and L2 learners often rely too much on speech information while ignore the effect of gestures. Gestures also positively mediate in comprehension of metaphoric expressions, providing listeners with dynamic and motoric comprehension process. L2 teachers and learners should pay more attention to the use of gestures, so that L2 learners can more efficiently participate in social activities.The research results offer a method of enriching teaching mediation tools and constructing multimodal L2 classrooms.

Key words: listening comprehension    gesture    mediation    listening teaching
收稿日期: 2016-05-09 出版日期: 2018-10-20
基金资助: 中国科学院大学院所合作项目(Y652023Y00);中国科学院大学校部2017年度大学生创新实践项目的阶段性成果。(2017D086)
作者简介: 钟晓云,清华大学外文系,100084,研究方向:神经语言学。电子邮箱;|高原,中国科学院大学外语系教授、硕士生导师,100049,研究方向:认知语言学。电子邮箱
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钟晓云,高原. 英语听力教学中手势语有效性的实证研究[J]. 北京第二外国语学院学报, 2018, 40(4): 115-130.

Xiaoyun ZHONG,Yuan GAO. An Empirical Study on the Effectiveness of Gesture in L2 Listening Class. Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2018, 40(4): 115-130.


低分组 高分组 各条件总人数
音频 14 13 27
音频+面部 14 14 28
音频+面部+手/臂 14 14 28
各分组总人数 42 41 83
表1  三种条件下的受试人数
图1  a音频+面部视频截图 ,b音频+面部+手/臂视频截图
图2  a pedestal手势1, b pedestal手势2, c pedestal手势3
图3  a made concerted effort 手势1, b made concerted effort 手势2, c made concerted effort 手势3
平均分 标准差
音频 7.48 3.87
音频+面部 7.14 3.72
音频+面部+手/臂 9.29 3.63
表2  手势语对学生听力理解的影响
低分组 高分组
平均分 标准差 平均分 标准差
音频 4.29 1.14 10.92 2.50
音频+面部 4.43 2.06 9.86 2.93
音频+面部+手/臂 7.14 2.77 11.43 3.13
表3  手势语对不同水平学生听力理解程度的影响
条件 平均差
音频条件 面部条件 —0.15
面部+手/臂条件 —2.86
面部条件 面部+手/臂条件 —2.71
表4  低分组Tukey事后检验结果
图像手势 隐喻手势 标准差
音频+面部+手/臂 音频 音频+面部+手/臂 音频
高分组 均值 5.86 5.38 5.57 5.54
标准差 1.92 1.94 1.74 1.20
低分组 均值 3.50 2.00 3.64 2.29
标准差 1.34 1.11 2.06 1.00
表5  不同手势类型对学生听力理解水平的影响
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