The practical application of hand gestures as a means of improving English intonation

Cristina Crison, Daniel Romero, Joaquín Romero


This paper reports on the results of a study that investigated the use of hand gestures as a learning strategy for the acquisition of English intonation by Catalan/Spanish native speakers. Thus, two research questions were explored: a. regarding the benefits this learning strategy could have on the recognition of intonation patterns; b. about the extent of improvement that hand gestures provide to the production of basic intonation patterns in English. To address these questions the subjects of the study had to read a set of sentences while they were recorded. Data from the recordings was analyzed through frequency values in the utterances' pitch contours. The sentences were affirmative, yes/no questions and information questions. Additionally, the subjects of the study were divided in two groups, the control and the experimental ones. The experimental group used hand gestures to modulate intonation patterns. Results revealed that rising intonation was more used during the pre-test. Contrary to that, during the post- test students were able to recognize and use falling intonation as well. As a result, students’ awareness of intonation patterns was developed and by using hand gestures they were able to produce rising and falling intonation more accurately.


 DOI: 10.21437/ISAPh.2018-8

Cite as: Crison, C., Romero, D., Romero, J. (2018) The practical application of hand gestures as a means of improving English intonation. Proc. ISAPh 2018 International Symposium on Applied Phonetics, 45-50, DOI: 10.21437/ISAPh.2018-8.


@inproceedings{Crison2018,
  author={Cristina Crison and Daniel Romero and Joaquín Romero},
  title={{The practical application of hand gestures as a means of improving English intonation}},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. ISAPh 2018 International Symposium on Applied Phonetics},
  pages={45--50},
  doi={10.21437/ISAPh.2018-8},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/ISAPh.2018-8}
}