INTRODUCTION TO GESTURE AND SLA: TOWARD AN INTEGRATED APPROACH

Marianne Gullberg, Steven G. McCafferty
2008 Studies in Second Language Acquisition  
The title of this special issue, Gesture and SLA: Toward an Integrated Approach, stems in large part from the idea known as integrationism, principally set forth by Harris~2003, 2005!, which posits that it is time to "demythologize" linguistics, moving away from the "orthodox exponents" that have idealized the notion of language+ The integrationist approach intends a view that focuses on communication-that is, language in use, language as a "fact of life"~Harris, 2003, p+ 50!+ Although not all
more » ... + Although not all gesture studies embrace an integrationist view-indeed, the field applies numerous theories across various disciplines-it is nonetheless true that to study gesture is to study what has traditionally been called paralinguistic modes of interaction, with the paralinguistic label given on the assumption that gesture is not part of the core meaning of what is rendered linguistically+ However, arguably, most researchers within gesture studies would maintain just the opposite: The studies presented in this special issue reflect a view whereby gesture is regarded as a central aspect of language in use, integral to how we communicate~make meaning! both with each other and with ourselves+ To begin, it is important to point out that there is a large and growing body of research on gesture across a number of disciplines, including anthropology, communication studies, social and developmental psychology, cognitive science~which includes cognitive neuroscience!, sociology, and others~for an overview, see Kendon, 2004!+ However, to date there has been comparatively little investigation of gesture within applied linguistics or SLA research
doi:10.1017/s0272263108080285 fatcat:4vouvhflircy3f7qmm7t3yufx4