The communications among people include both gesture (non-verbal component) and speech (verbal component.The gesture one person use can convey more important meaning than his/her speech. For example, a man can say to his girl friend “I love you” while he is looking another woman: then, he might want to say “I don’t love you any more.” Thus, we should focus both on the gesture and on the speech to unveil the communication process. In this study, we investigated the gesture and speech observed in a science exploration activity. This study presents fine-grained analyses of videotaped fragment of interactions among participants (middle and elementary students) in a science festival held by ‘Teachers for Exciting Science’ in Korea. Three cases of interplay between gesture and speech were found as follows. First, the gesture assisted the speech in the explanation. For example, the gesture shows an example of what the speech says. Second, the gesture has an essential role over the speech. For example, the speaker says ‘the right angle’ while he shows the specific angle with his arms. Third, the gesture is contradictory to the speech. We also found that with gesture (and speech) we can gain insight into student’s knowledge (experience). This study suggests that more focus should be laid on the role of gesture in science education research.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Interplay of gesture and speech in science exploration

JaeYoung Han   Chungbuk National University, Korea

Junghoon Choi   Hanyang University, Korea

The communications among people include both gesture (non-verbal component) and speech (verbal component.The gesture one person use can convey more important meaning than his/her speech. For example, a man can say to his girl friend “I love you” while he is looking another woman: then, he might want to say “I don’t love you any more.” Thus, we should focus both on the gesture and on the speech to unveil the communication process. In this study, we investigated the gesture and speech observed in a science exploration activity. This study presents fine-grained analyses of videotaped fragment of interactions among participants (middle and elementary students) in a science festival held by ‘Teachers for Exciting Science’ in Korea. Three cases of interplay between gesture and speech were found as follows. First, the gesture assisted the speech in the explanation. For example, the gesture shows an example of what the speech says. Second, the gesture has an essential role over the speech. For example, the speaker says ‘the right angle’ while he shows the specific angle with his arms. Third, the gesture is contradictory to the speech. We also found that with gesture (and speech) we can gain insight into student’s knowledge (experience). This study suggests that more focus should be laid on the role of gesture in science education research.

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