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Posted on: 25-08-14
Hand gestures help kids learn better

According to a recent study, spontaneous gestures would help children learn things in a better manner.
Children(those who can hear) in their growing stage use more of gestures and actions as they acquire full-fledged spoken language slowly and gradually. These gestures and word combinations predicts how the child has picked up the language.

Susan Goldin-Meadow, a professor in department of psychology at University of Chicago, said that children always tend to understand things through gestures and actions before they are able to express it them in speech.
She also examined how gestures help learn and hear even the deaf and dumb children. Actions and gestures are one of the most flexible ways of communicating. If necessary, that can itself become a language, she added.

In the early years of growth(when the child is at 11 or 12 months old), they mostly use iconic gestures. For example, the show fight movements by punching in air. As they grow older the spoken language(verbal communication) becomes stronger and hence, the usage of gestures tend to lessen.
The ways in which gestures are used are an indication of the developmental or conceptual ability of children.
Gestures are also meant to have joint attention. When a child uses gestures to point out someone or something, the parent makes him clear with the name of the object and then the whole conversation is based on the object of concern, which causes the child to adapt things faster.

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