Publication Details

Mister-Colmenares, B. & Burri, M. (2019). "I feel my body moving and I hear the word": Using gesture-like movement to enhance productive word recall. Think Tank: Bulletin of the JALT Mind, Brain, and Education SIG, 5 (11), 6-12.


Have you ever been in a situation where you just can't quite think of the word you want to say? You know the word. Perhaps you've used the word many times before. But for some reason, on this occasion you just can't recall and produce the precise word you want. It's in your mind, you know it's there, but it just won't come out. This is a linguistic event which has been quite widely researched and is known as the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon. Add to the mix the fact that you are learning a second language (L2) and need to navigate complex lexical networks to locate not only the item conveying precise meaning, but the one in your less efficient L2 lexical network. Then, imagine someone looking at you, waiting; waiting for you to say it (intelligibly), hanging on your every syllable. Sound frustrating? Well, you are not alone. Many L2 learners have voiced this exact frustration, but what can be done in the ESL classroom (and beyond) to facilitate the use of words in speech?