02 – Gestures and Embodied Cognition – Scott Thornbury

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MOT 2 1400

In class, we point behind us to represent the past. Forward for the future. But, other than Total Physical Response, how else can we use gestures?

Scott Thornbury is the second of my “ambush interviews”. His current workshop revolves around using gestures beyond the simple physical references, going deeper into how they affect cognition and strengthen recall.

For example, using gestures to represent the present perfect is a weird idea that a lot of teachers – and students – might be hesitant to use at first. However, there is evidence that using gestures to teach this tense, which can be extremely confusing for learners whose first language doesn’t have a similar form, has a more profound impact than regular teaching techniques.

Also, what’s the strangest question a student has asked you? Record me a short file and let me know – www.mastersoftesol.com – Shy types can tweet me and I’ll read it.  @MOTcast  Let’s hear what weird things people wanted to know!

Useful links:

Scott Thornbury’s books on Amazon

Louder Than Words – Bergan

Music: Les Juanitos – “Soul Walking”

This podcast is for ESL, EFL, TESOL, TEFL, ELT teaching


5 thoughts on “02 – Gestures and Embodied Cognition – Scott Thornbury

    ucclangcent said:
    November 18, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Reblogged this on Learning English at University College Cork, Ireland and commented:
    Very interesting podcast.

    Liked by 1 person

    Matthew said:
    January 5, 2015 at 3:52 am

    Just wanted to say thanks. That was absolutely excellent and has sparked some great reflection and interests. ‘Louder than words’ is now in my amazon cart as well 😉

    I also enjoyed the production of the podcast. It’s really quite smooth. Please do keep it up and I’ll keep listening with great interest and enjoyment!


    Day 45: Digits | A new day, a new thing said:
    February 15, 2015 at 2:51 am

    […] familiar with Scott Thornbury may have heard him talk about embodied cognition recently. You can listen to Scott talking about it briefly here. And Thornbury tweeted out the following last […]


    […] and other treats brought by the participants. Emily Goldberg and Tim Farey launched us in an “embodied cognition” activity that some of us had experienced in a recent workshop by Jiwon Chung about using theater […]


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