Research Program: Speech and Language
Usefulness of Gesture as Teaching Modality to learn the Gathang Language.
Within Aboriginal Language revitalisation, NSW, there is a relative lack of research into how to teach language effectively in classroom contexts. Aboriginal traditional teaching methods included gesture to convey meaning to the spoken word, for an example a movement of hand toward self, directing a person to come, or in storytelling all-body movements were used to enhance the meaning of the story. Bringing gesture into a contemporary teaching spaces incorporates a cultural context into the learning.
The purpose of the research is to explore the usefulness of gesture as a teaching modality to help preschool learners to learn Gathang Language. Current research in language teaching and educational psychology supports the effectives of gesture in the acquisition and retention of a second (spoken) language. There is limited research on the use of gesture with audio-visual (oral and pictorial) tools to teach a revitalised Aboriginal language by an Aboriginal researcher. In this project, the plan is to adopt an experimental approach to evaluate whether preschoolers learn Gathang nominals and interrogatives better with gesture alongside verbal and pictorial instruction, than without.
The research findings will increase our understanding of how gesture can play a major role in the acquisition and retention of a second language, and will inform the design and development of teaching resources for the revitalized Gathang language.
Qualifications and Honours
- Certificate I Aboriginal Language (Gathang) - TAFE
- Cert III Aboriginal Endangered Languages – Muurrbay Aboriginal Language Cultural Centre
- Masters In Language Education – University of Sydney
- Masters in Research (Language Education) – Western Sydney University (current)
- Diploma Aboriginal Studies – TAFE
- Associate Diploma Aboriginal Education – Australian Catholic University
- Bachelor in Teaching – Australian Catholic University
- Graduate Diploma in Community and Adult Education - Australian Catholic University