Corrective feedback, gesture, and mediation in classroom language learning


  • Rémi Adam van Compernolle Carnegie Mellon University
  • Tetyana Smotrova The Pennsylvania State University



second language teaching, second language learning, gesture, mediation, sociocultural theory, classroom interaction, corrective feedback


This article examines the way in which a teacher’s provision of form-focused corrective feedback synchronized with gesture mediated a student’s learning in an ESL reading classroom. Specifically, the focus of the analysis is on the student’s appropriation of the teacher’s gesture as a tool that mediates his own independent functioning. It is argued that while the teacher’s corrective feedback in the verbal channel helped to scaffold the learner’s performance by modeling a correct syntactic structure and highlighting the specific locus of the correction, it was her gesture activity that became available to the student as a psychological tool. The discussion centers on the role of gesture in mediating second language development. Implications for future research and classroom language teaching are also sketched out.

Author Biographies

Rémi Adam van Compernolle, Carnegie Mellon University

Rémi A. van Compernolle is Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition and French and Francophone Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. His research centers on the extension of Vygotskian sociocultural theory to second language development, pedagogy, and assessment, with particular thematic focus on second language pragmatics, sociolinguistics and talk-in-interaction.

Tetyana Smotrova, The Pennsylvania State University

Tetyana Smotrova is a PhD student in Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA. Her research interests include: second language acquisition; TESOL; gesture and multimodality; classroom discourse and pedagogical interaction. Her dissertation research focuses on how teacher and student gesture combined with speech contribute to student learning as occurring in the L2 classroom.


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How to Cite

van Compernolle, R. A., & Smotrova, T. (2014). Corrective feedback, gesture, and mediation in classroom language learning. Language and Sociocultural Theory, 1(1), 25–47.