George Lucas Educational Foundation

To Teach Vocabulary, Let Students Be Thespians

A 2020 study found that kids learning a new language retain new vocabulary at significantly higher rates if they act it out.

December 9, 2020

In a 2020 study, 8-year-old students who listened to words in another language and then used their hands and bodies to mimic the words were up to 73 percent more likely to remember them—even after two months—compared to students who listened without an accompanying gesture. Researchers discovered similar results when students were asked to look at pictures while listening to the corresponding foreign-language vocabulary.

To learn more about 2020's most compelling research findings for educators, visit: The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020

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  • Research
  • World Languages
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

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