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Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
Body language and students
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Body language and students


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  • 1. Reading your students’ body language
    Pedagogy Circle
    Nov. 20, 2009
    Joanne Chesley, Ed. D.
  • 2. Why does this matter?
    Teaching is largely about communicating. information and skills (in addition to changing behaviors)
    Communication is largely non-verbal.
    Understanding the non-verbal communication we give and receive from students improves teaching and learning.
  • 3. A tiny piece of the research……
    “There are two aspects to effective use of body language.
    The firstinvolves the speaker’s choice and use of gesture, intonation, facial expression and visual features(clothing, make-up, grooming etc.).
    The second aspect has to do with accurate perception and interpretation of others’ nonverbal messages (Goldin-Meadow, 2004; Goldin-Meadow & Sandhofer, 1999).
  • 4. Thus, each party’s effective use of nonverbal behaviors (gesture,facial expression, intonation, appearance etc.) can play a significant role in the
    effectiveness of discussions” (Rüştü Yeşil, 2008, p.895).
    Rüştü Yeşil (2008). Evaluation of body language behavior in a class debate.
    Social Behavior and Personality, 36 (7), 893-902.
  • 5. These two aspects are not always complementary. Sometimes verbal and nonverbal messages can contradict one another (Alibali et al., 1997; Goldin-Meadow & Sandhofer,1999).
    Sometimes the receivers of these messages can interpret the speaker’s nonverbal messages inaccurately (Goldin-Meadow, 2004; Goldin-Meadow & Wagner, 2005).
  • 6. So, to what body language should we pay attention?
    Yes, all of them!
  • 12. Types of Body Language
  • 13. Aggressive Body Language
    signals thoughts of or intent to use force or other form of aggression
    can be shown in the face, from disapproving frowns and pursed lips to sneers and full snarls.
    clenching of fists , spreading of the body for stability
    removing clothing or jewelry in an angry manner
    moving into the other person’s space
  • 14. Attentive Body Language
    signals interest in the other person and the message; is usually reciprocated
    ignoring distractions (phone, talking, other)
    leaning forward
    tilting the head
    furrowed brow
    Interest noises
    Open body (= open mind)
  • 15. Bored Body Language
    signals that we would rather not be there, or that the material is uninteresting or irrelevant
    looking anywhere but at the presenter
    talking to others
    tapping toes
    watching the clock
    yawning, looking sleepy, slouching in seat
    face is blank
  • 16. Closed Body Language
    signals that we are feeling threatened, so we place a barrier there for protection
    that we need to be nurtured (arms wrapped together)
    that we need to hide something
    that we are cold
    that we are relaxed
    Arms folded or crossed (one or both)
    Legs crossed
    Head is down and away
  • 17. Dominant Body Language
    signals need to feel big and powerful
    Making the whole body seem bigger by placing hands on hips to be wider, standing very erect to be taller, chin up and chest out to feel powerful, legs apart
    shrug shoulders, smirk
    break rules
    frown, sneer, snarl
    phallic display
    holding a gaze
    monopolizing and manipulating conversation
    often does not give eye contact (feels others don’t deserve it)
  • 18. Open Body Language
    signals change in feeling or thinking; when we are ready to accept something, when we are being attacked, when we are supplicating and when we are resting.
    seen in arms and legs relaxed, not crossed
    hands are open (not hiding anything)
    face is directed at the person of interest
    eyes contact is good, moves away at times (so not perceived as a stare)
  • 19. Submissive Body Language
    signals fear and readiness to submit
    hunching inwards; making the body smaller, arms
    held in (I don’t want to be seen)
    motionlessness (I won’t fight back)
    head down to protect neck and to avoid eye contact which is seen as aggressive
    hands out, palms up
    widening the eyes (like a baby)
    eyes are attentive, hanging on to every word
  • 20. Readiness Body Language
    signals readiness to do something
    some body part (head, hand, arm, foot, or eyes) will point in the direction of the activity
    body is tensed, either holding arm rests of chair, or things in hand are gripped tightly
    thumbs in pocket (“I’m ready to …”)
    fingers hook clothing
    continuing conversation
  • 21. Evaluative Body Language
    signals thinking, judging, and making decisions
    hands are closed and touching (praying position) or clasped with fingers down except for pointer fingers which are straight up
    these pointer fingers might touch the nose, lips, or chin
    pursed lips
    peering over top of glasses
    chin may rest on one or both palms or on closed hands
    body may be open or closed (depending on level of relaxation, or type decision making)
  • 22. Now let’s discuss this information within the context of your students and your teaching.