Gestures as Part of Referential Practice in Tutorials at the Computer

By Patricia Frenz-Belkin.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In many workplaces and educational settings today, individuals are required to collaborate with others on tasks that involve the use of digital technologies such as computers as well as the use of printed materials such as manuals and forms. People who work together in such “information-rich” environments; that is, spaces where they have to attend to a multitude of displays of information simultaneously to accomplish a task, typically use language, gestures, and other bodily behaviors to establish a mutual orientation toward the same objects in the environment, that is, a common “domain of scrutiny.”
Borrowing from the methodology of conversation analysis, this study investigates the strategic deployment of gestures, as they are embedded in the on-going talk during computer tutorials, to identify the role that these gestures play in the creation of shared ‘domains of scrutiny’ and the sequential progression of task activities. This research contributes to a growing number of studies that examine the interactions between/among practitioners as they interact with technology.

Keywords: Talk-in-Interaction, Conversation Analysis, Interaction at the Computer, Gestures

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.239-254. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.890MB).

Dr. Patricia Frenz-Belkin

Assistant Professor, Department of Language & Cognition, Hostos Community College, Bronx, New York, USA

Dr. Patricia Frenz-Belkin is an assistant professor at Hostos Community College of The City University of New York. She holds a doctoral degree in education from Columbia University. Her specialization at Columbia was in Language, Literacy,and Technology. At this point in her career, she is teaching ESL to minority students in the South Bronx, New York. Her continued research interest has been in the application of technology (e.g.,e-portfolios, podcasting) in the ESL classroom.

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