Author:
The Pathways Project At Boise State
Subject:
Languages
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan
Level:
High School, Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
  • Body Language
  • Gestures
  • Nativeness
  • Study Abroad
  • Travel Preparation
  • إشارة
  • تأقلم
  • دراسة في الخارج
  • سافر
  • لغة الجسد
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English, Arabic

    Watch Your (Sign) Language! By Cody Wetherelt

    Watch Your (Sign) Language! By Cody Wetherelt

    Overview

    Students planning to live or interact with Arabs from the Middle East and North Africa have a tendency to speak without using typical words to express their meaning. There are hand gestures, non-word sounds, and other country specific actions that one might do depending on a situation. Students will learn 5 hand gestures and compare these to those of their home country as well as learn the accompanying “real words” that accompany these gestures, signs, and actions.

    About this Activity

    Description: 

    Students planning to live or interact with Arabs from the Middle East and North Africa have a tendency to speak without using typical words to express their meaning. There are hand gestures, non-word sounds, and other country specific actions that one might do depending on a situation. Students will learn 5 hand gestures and compare these to those of their home country as well as learn the accompanying “real words” that accompany these gestures, signs, and actions.

     

    **The language used in this lesson is spoken Arabic with quotes “” or () parenthesis to signify what the teacher should read aloud or ask within the classroom verbatim. Any directions are written in Modern Standard Arabic aka FusHa.**

    Proficiency Level: Novice High

    Keywords: 

    gestures, nativeness, travel preparation, study abroad, body language,إشارة, سافر, دراسة في الخارج, لغة الجسد, تأقلم

    World-Readiness Standards:

    • Interpersonal Communication: Learners interact and negotiate meaning in spoken, signed, or written conversations to share information, reactions, feelings, and opinions.

    • Interpretive Communication: Learners understand, interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.

    • Presentational Communication: Learners present information, concepts, and ideas to inform, explain, persuade, and narrate on a variety of topics using appropriate media and adapting to various audiences of listeners, readers, or viewers.

    • Relating Cultural  Practices to Perspectives: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied.

    • Language Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the nature of language through comparisons of the language studied and their own.

    • Cultural Comparisons: Learners use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures studied and their own.

     

    Idaho Content Standards for World Languages:

    CLTR 1.1 Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture. 

     

    CONN 1.2 Relate information studied in other subjects to the target language and culture. 

    CONN 2.1 Access authentic materials prepared in the target language by or for native speakers. 

    CONN 2.2 Analyze the content and cultural perspectives of authentic materials prepared in the target language by or for native speakers 

    CONN 2.3 Compare and contrast cultural similarities and differences in authentic materials. 

     

    COMP 1.1 Observe formal and informal forms of language. 

    COMP 1.3 Compare and analyze idiomatic expressions in the target language. 

    COMP 2.2 Compare and contrast appropriate gestures and oral expressions in the target culture with the learner’s culture. 

    COMP 2.3 Compare and contrast authentic materials from the target culture with the learner’s culture. 

     

     COMT 2.1 Interpret materials and/or use media from the language and culture for enjoyment. 

    NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

    I can…

     

    • recognize that significant differences in behaviors exist among cultures, use appropriate learned behaviors and avoid major social blunders

    • interact with gestures at a functional level in some familiar contexts

    • make comparisons between and practices to help me understand perspectives in my own and other cultures.

    • identify the main idea and key information in short straightforward conversations.

    3 P’s (Products, Practices, Perspectives):

    Products: (none)

    Practices: body language that corresponds to verbal language

    Perspectives: intensify meaning, promote understanding, religious knowledge

     

    Materials Needed:

    -Access to the Web

    -A projector/ smart board to present with

    -Graphic organizer (print as two individual sheets to have the top cut along dotted lines and stapled where marded so it will flip like minibooks; the second page is the “answer”/info page which is intentionally left blank so students can practice writing and add additional notes or phrases to help their memory.)

    Eight Arab hand gestures that should be turned into emojis by Nashwa Nasreldin is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER (top three images)

    Fonkos1 by Vana4x4 is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER (bottom left) 

    A cropped view of a female sportswoman dusting her hands with chalk by PeopleImages is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER. (bottom middle)

    20878 Muslim Girl Praying by shutterstock is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER (bottom right)

    The following links:

    Arabic Gestures main video      Arabic Gestures (edited version)

    Lebanese Hand Gestures by JoyRenn is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER

    Maya Hussein Video

    Things Arab say on a regular basis by Maya Hussein is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER.

    Maya Hussein video2  

    When you're trying to tell your arab family a story and they interrupt you by Maya Hussein is included under fair use as described in the CBPFUOER

    Key focus phrases: 

    • Khod (middle finger poke)... خود

    • Khalas (clean the hands)... خلاص

    • daqiqa/ istenne (purse hand)... دقيقة

    • Oqsam billah/ Wallah (ok sign)... اقسم بالله/والله

    • Sho? Esh Fi? (twisty lightbulb)... شو؟/ ايش في؟

    • Prayer/ inshallah (upturned flat hands)... صلاة/ إن شاء الله

    Warm Up

    1. Discuss in English common gestures that people make while speaking

    2. Think of any hand gestures or actions that they have seen in the Target Culture either through movies, interaction with natives, or other routes such as memes or reels/tiktoks.

    Main Activity

    Interpretive Communication: Making Sense of Key Gestures in Arabic with Authentic Videos 

    1. Hand out the graphic organizers and have the students in pairs discuss what they think the gestures in the picture mean. 

    2. اعطي الـ graphic organizers  واشراح "في أزواج تحكو عن المعانى الإشارة في الصور.

    1. Watch the following link Arabic Gestures (edited version) and ask whether they can repeat/mimic any after watching the video  . Ask if they can guess what any of the gestures might mean?

    3. اشاهد اللينك التالي Arabic Gestures (edited version) واسألهم "تقدرو تكرر أي إشارة من الفيديو؟"

    1. After, watch the Arabic Gestures main video with sound and compare their answers from before.

    4. بعد ذلك, اشاهد الفيديو Arabic Gestures main video مع الصوت وتقارن ومع ردهم من قبل.

    1. Ask them to watch the Arabic Gestures (edited version) again and see if they can catch what are the signs for “wait” and “what’s wrong”. Ask them if they can guess what word is connected to that gesture in Arabic.

    5. اشراح لهم "رح تتفرجو Arabic Gestures (edited version) مرة تانية وشوف إذا تسمعو شو الإشارة لـ"wait" و "what's wrong؟" و كيف بتول الكلمتين بالعربية."  

    1. Now compare this video with the following links to see if they notice any of these gestures being used. What is the same, different, or has a slight meaning change? 

    Maya Hussein Video

    Maya Hussein video2  

    6. “هلآ, تقارنو الفيديو اللي فات مع الفيديوهات اللي جاي. في اي فرق بينهم والإشارة تعلمتو من قبل؟ شو النفس وشو مختلف وشو تغيير؟"

    Maya Hussein Video

    Maya Hussein video2  

    Presentational Communication: Your turn! 

    1. In groups or pairs, create a cartoon, meme, or short Instagram reel that connects one of the gestures to a context.

    7. "في مجموعات او أزواج, تعمل   create a cartoon و meme او  Instagram reel قصيرة اللي تصل واحدة من الإشارة إلى حالة معينة. رح تشاركو الإعلام مع الصف.

    1. Once completed students will present their gesture-context to the class. With a thumb’s up or down, ask students to decide how well the cartoons, memes, or reels match the meaning/ use of each gesture. If it is down, ask students to explain why it doesn’t work well.

    8. “لما تخلصو رح تشاركو الإعلام مع الصف. مع إبهامكو على فوق او تحت, تقررو كيف العلاقة بين الكارتون و ميمي و الريل بتصل على الحالة. اذا في اي إبهام موجود لازم تشرح ليش لا."

    Wrap Up

    As students are dismissed, the teacher (standing near the door) will say a phrase to the student and they will respond with the appropriate gesture as an exit ‘ticket’. 

    من خلال الطلاب يخرج من الصالون, الأستاذ (بجانب الباب) يقول "أنا رح أقول تعبير إليكو وقبل تفوتو برا الصف لازم يسوي الإشارة و بعدين تقدرو تروحو" مثل تذكرة للخروج."

    Cultural Notes:

    In English, ask them if “tone” is also applicable while we are making non verbal gestures?

     

    Just as in spoken language, gestures can carry multiple meanings that can apply to more than one term such as the gesture for ‘wait’/ ‘slow down’ which can also be used to emphasize something that is being said. For a comparable example in English we can use the “clapping” gesture: it can be used earnestly

    End of activity:

    Encourage students to come to the next class with a realia of a youtube video, meme, or reel/tik tok about more or different gestures/ sounds from the Arab World.

    NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements:

    I can…

     

    •  recognize that significant differences in behaviors exist among cultures, use appropriate learned behaviors and avoid major social blunders

    • interact at a functional level in some familiar contexts

    • make comparisons between products and practices to help me understand perspectives in my own and other cultures.

    • identify the main idea and key information in short straightforward conversations.