Amsterdam, Netherlands

Gestures: How to Analyse Forms, Functions, and Meanings

online course
when 11 January 2021 - 15 January 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 600

Research has shown that the movements a person makes with their hands while talking relate to processes of thinking for speaking, the culture(s) the speaker is part of, and the local context of communication.This course will provide research skills for the analysis of speakers’ hand movements in video recordings of spoken interaction. It will consider how we can “get a handle” on gesture in order to incorporate it into the study of language and communication.

Course leader

Prof. Alan Cienki

Target group

The target audience is MA and PhD students from the fields of linguistics, communication studies, psychology, anthropology, and computer science who are working on, or interested in, the analysis of spoken language in conversation or in monologues, and who wish to expand their research horizons by using video of people talking as data. In addition, professionals from different fields may be interested in how a greater understanding of gestures could broaden their insights. This might include clinicians working in speech pathology and hearing impairment, therapists working in interaction analysis, communication consultants advising public speakers, and engineers and computer scientists working on computer vision analysis of video as big data and on the implementation of gestures in avatars or robots. We welcome participants from all countries and encourage you to apply what you will learn in the course to video recordings of people talking in whatever language you research. The working language for our communication in the course will be English. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please contact us:

Course aim

By the end of the course, the participants will have:

- An overview of the added value to research that comes from studying manual gestures with speech.
- Insight into ways in which gesture relates to spoken language.
- An understanding of concepts and categories used in gesture studies, including gesture forms and functions.
- Experience with methods of gesture analysis, including gesture annotation using the software ELAN.
- Ideas about how gesture research can be applied in different kinds of research projects.

Credits info

3 EC
25 hours

Fee info

EUR 600: Fees:
- Students and PhD Students: €600
- Professionals: €800
- Students, PhD students and employees at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC: €500
Applications received before the 1st of October (Early Bird Discount) receive €50 discount!

The tuition fee includes:
- Application and registration
- Exclusive course content for a limited number of students
- Individual/group guidance from course organiser
- Access to all online VU facilities such as the library and online learning environments
- A certificate of attendance after completing the course
- A transcript of records mentioning the grade and the obtained ECTS
- Full support of the winter school team
- Optional online social activity