Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-9751
  • E-ISSN: 1877-976X
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Growing evidence shows the role of teachers gestures not only in L2 learning (Stam & Tellier, 2021) but also in supporting learning in the L1 classroom (Alibali et al., 2014Crowder, 1996Wilson et al., 2014). The current study aims at contributing to this last perspective. Based on data from a 3rd grade plurilingual classroom in an Italian school, it observes the ‘catchments’ (McNeill, 2000) in teacher’s gesticulation during a cycle of lessons on “The origin of life”. The analysis identifies conceptual components based on the metaphor associated with gestures, and observes their alignment with lexical items – either technical or common words (; ) – in speech. The gesture-word association supports both the conceptualization of the notions and the acquisition of the related lexicon: gestures connect recurring concepts to their different verbalisations, ensuring a conceptually coherent representation over the lesson; they establish synonimic relations between technical and common words; and they can also work as memory triggers towards and between concepts and lexical units.


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