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Language and gesture in blind learners of English


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Gugo, Iva. (2015). Language and gesture in blind learners of English. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Geld, Renata].

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The aim of this thesis was to examine the connection between language and gesture in blind learners of English from Croatia. In order to answer the main research questions, a study was conducted on a group of blind learners and two contrast groups of sighted learners. All groups were asked to retell a story in English and in Croatian. They were filmed and afterwards, the number of gestures each participant produced was counted. Also, the gestures were classified in order to establish which gesture types were produced most often and for what purposes. While both contrast groups produced a roughly the same amount of gestures in English and Croatian, blind learners produced more gestures in English. Of all gesture types, they were found to produce beats the most. The conclusion from this study is that blind learners gesticulate more in English so as to compensate for their lacking knowledge. Gestures help them overcome lexical gaps in their knowledge and communicate a message across to the listener. Some gestures, such as beats, assist the learners in organizing their thoughts into sentences and articulating them. Finally, gestures are also an important motivating factor in that they encourage these learners towards completing the narrative task.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: blind learners, English as a foreign language (EFL), gesture
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Geld, Renata
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2015 09:44
Last Modified: 22 May 2017 16:34

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