Gestures: Body Language and Nonverbal

Body Language and
Nonverbal Communication
 The definition and
introduction of gesture
 The type of gesture
 Different gestures in
different countries
• A gesture is a form of non-verbal
communication made with a part of the
body, used instead of or in combination
with verbal communication. The language
of gesture is rich in ways for individuals to
express a variety of feelings and thoughts,
from contempt and hostility to approval
and affection.
An Introduction
• Gestures and body language
communicate as effectively as
words- maybe even more effectively.
We use gestures daily, almost
instinctively, from beckoning to a
waiter, or punctuating a business
presentation with visual signals to
airport ground attendants guiding
an airline pilot into the jetway or a
parent using a whole dictionary of
gestures to teach (or preach to) a
As the global village continues to shrink and
cultures collide, it is essential for all of us to
become more sensitive, more aware, and more
observant to the myriad motions, gestures, and
body language that surround us each day. And
as many of us cross over cultural borders, it
would be fitting for us to respect, learn, and
understand more about the effective, yet
powerful "silent language" of gestures.
Type of gesture
The most famous
type of gestures are the
so-called emblems or
quotable gestures .
These are culture
specific gestures that
can be used as
replacement for words.
Communities have
repertoires of such
Another type of gestures are the ones
we use when we speak. These gestures
are closely coordinated with speech. The
meaningful part of the gesture is
temporally synchronized (that is, occurs
at the same time) with the co-expressive
parts of speech.
For example, a gesture that depicts the
act of throwing will be synchronous with
the word 'threw' in the utterance "and
then he threw the ball right into the
Make an oath
Other gestures like the so-called beat
gestures, are used in conjunction with
speech, keeping time with the rhythm of
speech and to emphasize certain words
or phrases. These types of gestures are
integrally connected to speech and
thought processes.
Different gestures in different
These gestures are accepted both by Chinese
and Americans as having the same meanings:
A smile and handshake show welcome ,
Waving one‘s hand is to say“goodbye”,
nodding the head means agreement,while shaking it
means disgreement .( 但是在保加利亚,希腊的一些地
Putting up a hand means"May I ask a question?".
Kissing means"love".
Waving one's arms show happiness.
Because culture influences
communication. Different country has
different culture. So the way people in
different countries communicate is
different too.
The gesture of putting a hand on a person' neck is
different for Chinese and Americans. For Chinese,it is to
say"someone will be killed". For Americans, it
shows"I'm full” .
In Thailand, If you want to signal a person to come
near, you should move the fingers back and forth with
palm down.But in the United States, you ask someone
to come by holding the palm up and moving the fingers
towards our body.
Crossing one's legs in the United States is a sign of
being relaxed. But in Korea , it's not allowed.
In Chinese,people hand everything with both hands to
show their respect,but for Muslims,they think the left
hand is unclean and do not eat or pass something with
Because of special culture influences some
counties, some body languages should attract
our attention
In Turkey , putting one's hand in one's pockets is a sign of
In some Asican countries, you must not touch the head of another
And in China, people don't kiss or hug each other ,except hisher
For an Arab, it is a good manners to stand close to his friend when
they are talking, but for English people, they don't like to be close to
one another.
And in parts of Asia, you must not sit with your foot pointing at
another person.
All above show that it is important to
know the meaning of gestures and
movements in foreign country, foreigners
should follow these customs, should learn
their culture. So we can communicate with
them in a correct way, not only by words,
but also by body language. I think that it is
important in our lives to show and learn
body language .