Movement Literacy as a First Language

Movement Literacy as a First Language

Tami Seifert (Kibutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, Israel) and Shlomit Yaron (Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9261-7.ch014
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Movement is an inseparable part of our daily lives. Research indicates that learning through the moving body (embodiment) is meaningful learning. This chapter presents language of movement as a necessary avenue in the study of literacy and learning, and describes perceptions, uses, and applications of kinesthetic language as part of the learning experience. The language of movement is described as a literacy learned at three levels: Level 1 focuses on movement tools as applicable in learning in cultural fields. Level 2 is fed by movement aspects and perceptions as they support a learning space. Level 3 is fed by perceptions of relations between variables, seeing each existential space as composed of a collection of stimuli equal in value to and enabling focus on the creation of a learning space. A learning space can be envisaged as one that offers a rich arena for mutual interaction of expression, learning and creation, enriching and supporting the expansion of the learner's world, necessary for active, innovative, experimental, inquisitive, and boundary-breaking involvement.
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Language Development, Movement, And Media Literacy

According to Vygotsky (1978), there is a complex interaction between social-cognitive development and learning. The child is surrounded by verbal and non-verbal communication from birth, and selectively and gradually acquires the different linguistic components, intuitive abilities and dialect from those around them (John & Goldstein, 1964). The child learns to use a system of oral and non-oral symbols and rules in order to communicate with those around them. A distinction is drawn between communication and language. Communication involves the mutual exchange of information between one who sends the message and one who receives them. The information may be transmitted through a scent, song, gestures, tone, writing, painting, or language. Language is a symbolic form of communication. Even animals have communication systems, for example the elaborate dances of mating birds or the movements of bees to transmit information about food resources, but these techniques and gestures only transmit limited and stereotyped messages and so it is difficult to call them “languages”. Several characteristics have been identified as the essential components of a “language” such as physical understanding and movement as embodiment of language.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mirror Neurons: These are nerve cells found in specific areas of the brain cortex connected with motor activity. Their uniqueness relates to the fact that they react not only when the animal (or human) performs a movement of some kind, but also when the creature observes another creature, usually of the same species, performing such a movement.

Kinesthetic Movement – Kinesthesis: A sense of posture and movement of the body and limbs and it is part of the proprioceptive system. The source of the term is from the Greek: kinein = to move and aisthesis – sensation. In other words, perception of movement.

Kestenberg Movement Profile (KMP): A system of movement notation and analysis that provides a formal system of observation, notation, and analysis within a theoretical framework that interprets the meaning of movement.

Tactile System: The sensory system responsible for the sense of touch. It transfers information, which is absorbed from the environment through receptors found in the skin.

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