Abstract

 

This study intended to investigate the role of the gestures, used as a second language teaching technique, on vocabulary development in pre-school English as foreign language (EFL) learners at elementary level. The present study investigated the technique of teaching/learning second language vocabulary through gestures accompanied by traditional ways of teaching vocabulary at a private English institute in Talesh, Iran. In the study, two intact classes were selected: one fifteen-student class (N = 15) and another fourteen-student class (N = 14). One of these two classes was randomly selected as a treatment group and another one as a control group. Students in the treatment group were provided with vocabulary instruction through gestures along with other traditional techniques for six weeks while the control group followed only a traditional vocabulary instruction. Pretests and posttests of vocabulary were administered and t-tests were used to compare means of test scores within groups and between posttest of the groups. Results indicated that while the two groups were homogeneous in terms of their vocabulary knowledge before the treatment phase, the treatment group outperformed the control group in the posttest. That is, vocabulary instruction through gestural techniques is a significantly effective approach to improve EFL learners’ vocabulary knowledge.

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