Children’s gestures are meant to be seen
This study investigated whether children alter their gestures when their listeners cannot see those gestures. Sixteen kindergarten children viewed four short cartoon episodes. After each episode, the child retold the story to an adult listener. For two episodes, the child and listener sat face-to-face, and for the other two episodes, an opaque curtain was placed between them. Children gestured at a significantly higher rate when they could see their listeners than when they could not. However, the amount, fluency, and content of children’s speech did not differ across conditions. Thus, kindergarten children alter their gestures to suit their listeners, and the observed changes in gesture do not appear to depend on changes in speech.
Keywords: gesture, communication, children, interaction
Published online: 11 July 2002
Cited by 10 other publications
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