GestureWay - Teaching English through hand gestures.

1) Hello and welcome! This is the first of a series of videos on Gestureway.

Gestureway is a refreshing and exciting way to teach English. Gestureway is a tool that allows us to put the classroom textbooks away and get all our students to do the talking and in English. The teacher substitutes written text for hand gestures. The students "read" the gestures and speak aloud in chorus. We can put the gestures together to make sentences and link the sentences to make stories.

Here is the classic joke about the man dying of thirst in the desert. He thinks he needs water but what he really needs is a new tie!

2) If our students can learn a gesture code together with the foreign language, the presentation of new vocabulary becomes much easier. Gestures help the teacher maintain meaning in the classroom. Note here how my students deduced I referred to some sort of bag from their recognition of previously learnt gestures.

3) This technique, where the teacher presents gestures for the student to read is called Silent Sign. "Silent" because the teacher communicates via gestures. As you can see, with Silent Sign, the teacher controls the input of English in the classroom. This ensures controlled practice of the vocabulary and structures the teacher wants the students to develop. But even within this controlled practice environment there is still a certain amount of student-teacher communication. In this extract, the students suggest what colours the ties in the suitcase are.

 Story visual displayed on screen
Visual displayed on screen behind teacher.

4) With GestureWay, we can get our students to draw on their evolving interlanguage and elicit from them parts of speech: verb tenses, comparatives, personal pronouns, etc. The constant need to recall a part of speech and construct or conjugate it helps students to consolidate the new language in their minds. And it's all done orally. Unlike written gapfill exercises that concentrate on just a verb in a sentence, for example, using Silent Sign, every word is a gap to be filled: nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs alike.

5) Thanks for watching. If you are interested in knowing more about GestureWay, please get in touch. See you soon with more videos shortly!

(The students in this video are Spanish 10-year-olds from a state school in Carmona, Seville in Spain - 19 students in the group all told. This video was made after 50 hours of GestureWay classes.)

See article - GestureWay - considerations on input and output in the English classroom...