Get access

Filming French Gestures


  • Joel Chandler Walz

  • Joel C. Walz (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Georgia, Athens.


ABSTRACT Nonverbal communication can be an important addition to regular classroom subject matter. Since most gestures entail motion, film is the most effective medium for studying them. This article describes a short movie, based on a dialogue acted out by native French students, and introduces French gestures to American students. The film's dialogue is transcribed, and suggestions for classroom use are presented. With a bibliography describing other typical French gestures, teachers are encouraged to make their own films, Technical advice on photography is offered as well as suggestions for locations to be used in filming. For teachers who cannot go abroad, ideas are given for working in this country, particularly with other media: videotapes, color slides, and still photographs.