Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2015;16(4):1-23.
Published online November 30, 2015.
The Power of Nonverbal Chunks in Language Teaching
Jeff Berglund
Abstract
Communication is not simply the exchange of verbal expressions between or among people. In other words, it is not only a language activity. Communication always takes place in a context which includes physical, social, temporal, and other nonverbal elements. Movies give context to language teaching and to language acquisition. Movies are not only a great source of natural expressions in a certain language; they are also great sources of nonverbal, contextual information. L2 teaching, however, almost always focuses on the use of language itself. After all, the students are in the classroom to learn language. A greater cognizance of the wealth of and importance of nonverbal strategies employed by movie directors as well as movie actors can lead to stronger motivation and more successful outcomes in the language acquisition process. Kang (2000) has proposed that the teaching of nonverbal communication skills be included in the EFL curriculum. This paper focuses on the nonverbal strategies that may be employed by L2 teachers as well as learners, with a special emphasis on the role that movies can play in demonstrating particular nonverbal strategies. Movies are also a great source of nonverbal chunks that provide important contextual cues about language usage.
Key Words: nonverbal communication;Gestalt chunks;movie method


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