Gesture-enhanced recasts have limited effects: A case of the regular past tense

Kimi Nakatsukasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study investigates whether gesture-enhanced recasts lead to better production of the English regular past tense. Fifty-nine low-intermediate ESL students at a US university took part in communicative activities in class, during which they received, respectively, no feedback, verbal recasts, or gesture-enhanced recasts, the latter being a verbal recast accompanied by a point-back gesture indicating the non-target-like use or absence of the past tense. All learners also completed two assessments, a grammar test about the regular past tense and an oral production test that was designed to elicit the regular past tense, as a pre-test, an immediate post-test, and a delayed post-test a week later. Then, a repeated-measure ANOVA was used to analyse the linguistic development, using the obtained test scores. The results showed that there was no difference across the conditions in the grammar test, owing to the ceiling effect. On the other hand, learners significantly improved from the pre-test to the post-test in the oral production test, but there were no differences across the conditions. This contradicts a previous finding that teachers’ pedagogical gestures during recasts better facilitated the development of locative prepositions. Further, this study discusses how learning types (rule-based vs. item-based) involved in two different linguistic targets and different gestures used in the two studies may affect the efficacy of recasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-612
Number of pages26
JournalLanguage Teaching Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • English as a second language
  • classroom research
  • corrective feedback
  • gesture
  • pedagogical gesture


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