Imitation of a pedagogical agent's gestures enhances memory for words in second language
Sprache des Titels:
Pedagogical agents (PAs) are virtual characters in computer-based learning environments. PAs can train humans in
various domains. Here, a PA cues subjects to learn vocabulary items through enactment, i.e., to perform an illustrative gesture
while learning a word. It is well known that enactment impacts memory. Also, imitation is a natural mechanism driving learning.
Combining both enactment and imitation could improve memory even more. In a within-subjects study, 44 school children
learned 45 vocabulary items according to three conditions: an audio-visual baseline, an observation condition (participants
watched the PA during enactment) and an imitation condition (participants imitated the PA?s gestures). We documented learning
progress by cued recall tests. Over four days, we found that, compared to the baseline and to mere observation, imitation of
enactment significantly enhanced memory for words in the foreign language.
Keywords: Pedagogical Agent, Multilingualism, Imitation, Enactment, Gestures, Memory