L'utilizzo di gesti complessi come supporto per l’acquisizione di parole nuove durante attività di lettura ad alta voce. Studio pilota con bambini dai 3 ai 5 anni.


  • Raffaele Dicataldo Padova
  • Irene Leo Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, University of Padua
  • Maja Roch Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialization, University of Padua



Parole chiave:

Vocabulary;, Learning,, Gesturing, Embodied cognition, Preschool children


Reading aloud is one of the most important activities that parents, teachers and/or educators can do with children in different educational settings since promotes oral language development. In recent years, several evidences suggest that integrating movement into cognitive tasks can be effective for learning due to its cognitive and physiological effects. According to Embodied Cognition, the mind is connected to the body, as are thoughts, emotions, actions, and sensations. If cognition involves the body, it is reasonable to assume that language learning does as well. "Readings in Motion" research project aims to investigate whether multimodal exposure (language context supported by movement) to target words found in stories read to children during read-aloud activities supports the acquisition of new words in preschoolers.
This pilot project involved 50 boys and girls (15 F) with an average age of 57 months (ds = 10.4). Prior to the intervention, participants' lexical and motor skills were assessed through the TFL and the PDMS-2. The intervention was developed in 4 sessions. In each session, a story containing 6 target words: 2 words accompanied by gestures not associated with meaning, 2 accompanied by ges-tures associated with meaning, and 2 without gestures, was read aloud. Children's ability to recognize target words was assessed at T0 and T2 through two ad hoc tests. Results of this pilot study provide an indication of facilitation in the acquisition of new words during read aloud activities if these are accompanied by a semantically related gesture supporting the hypothesis that integrating motor ac-tivities into a language learning task, seems particularly effective for learning.


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