Manage the Teaching Learning Process
Through Body Language


Prabhakar Tripathi
M.Sc.; MA; B.Ed.; MPA
Asst. Registrar
Disha Institute of Management and Technology

Teaching - Learning process is a means through which the teacher, the learner, the     curriculum and other variables are organized in a systematic manner to attain predetermined goals and objectives. Teaching and learning are interlinked. The teacher teaches and the students learn. The process, the technologies and the interaction between the students and the teacher are the important factors which play very significant role in making the teaching - learning fruitful and lasting.

The Slow-Learners appreciate those teachers who make the learning situation conducive, and interesting through their effective teaching process with the help of face and relevant body language. Moreover, when the disabled (deaf and dumb) can learn so effectively through face expression and body gestures, why other students with eyes and ears cannot learn more efficiently with the use of these Software Teaching Gears i.e. Body Language.

1Albert Mehrabian found that the total impact of a message is about 7 percent verbal (Words only) and 38 percent vocal (including tone of voice, inflection and other sounds) and 55 percent Non-Verbal. Professor Bird-Whistell also similarly found that the verbal component of face to face conversation is less than 35% and over the sixty five percent of communication is done Non-Verbally.

2The Communication of the contents or the behaviour of the pupil and the teacher may be of two Types - Verbal and Non - Verbal. The nonverbal behaviour is symbolic in which the learner and the teacher contribute in development of the lesson through their facial expressions, gestures displaying , the body parts and sort of signals. but before going into further details, let us learn the conclusions made after the studies in America as how we retain information and recall it in an interval of time.

10 % of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we talk and say
90% of what we say as we do a thing

The above statistics show that on an average 50% information can be retained only due to seeing and hearing into the classroom. This amount, however, can be increased with use of proper                inflection of the voice and relevant gestures of the face and body language. Then it would be                  appreciated as how they can recall as following:-

Activities                             Recalling                               Re calling
     in                                        With in                                    with in
Learning                               3 Hours                                     3 days

Telling (Alone)                       70 %                             10%
Showing (Alone)                     72 %                              20%
Blend of Telling
& Showing                             85 %                            65%

Thus, with the adequate way of body Language in teaching-Learning process, the amount of Retention and promptness of Recalling can be enhanced. Now let us see how EYES, lips, inflection of the tone along with the movements of hands and legs contribute in making the teaching-learning process lasting and controlled.

A.  eyes - as software teach-ing gears:-

The eyes have been always the subject of glory. They are the most powerful means of reflecting one's individuality as a whole. The behaviour, the attitude, integrity have been also the prominent features of critical appreciation through one's eyes. Whatever goes or occurs in one's minds, gets reflect into the eyes. Though an analogy can be well established where brain is a land of micro processor and the eyes are treated as Monitor. But unlike the Monitor being hardware, the eyes themselves can command, process and programme up to further micro level and thus can be suitably crowned on the top of the software teaching Gears. However, only a competent teacher can use it successfully and fruitfully in teaching learning process.

In Teaching - Learning process the eyes play very key role. In transmission of the information or message it is also very inevitable to ensure the both ends are working and in contact. However, there is further scope to see by the insight than that of the naked eyes only. The following activities by the eyes can be noticed during teaching

i) Blinking of the eyes : Blinking of the eyes reflect integrity in one aspect and concentration in our aspect, The faster the blinking is recorded the less the individual is concentrate and honest. While telling lies or cheating in exams, the rate of blinking eyes can easily help the teacher to notice the same and suggest accordingly.

ii) Eye to eye contact: Eye to eye contacts have been very earlier means of Teaching-Learning             process. Avoiding the eye to eye contact by the students may be read as telling lies or lack of              confidence or something being kept secret as the case may be during interaction. Overtime contact may signify the obstinacy, challenge and even threat in worst situation for the teachers.

iii) Contraction & Expansion of the Eye-Pupil: Generally when the students concentrates on            something, their eyes (Pupil) gets contract up to certain degree. When they are relaxed it resumes its natural size which can be well noticed by the teacher, however, tilted heads with contracted pupils is a good sign for the effective Teaching - Learning process.

iv) Eye-Brows: Like the contraction & expansion of the eye-pupil, the different positions of the eye-brows give various relevant signals in general interaction with one another. They should also to be associated with the degree of eyes-pupil to analyze and summarize the temper and temperament and other conditions like disagreement what the teacher is teaching, and many other signals like fury, fear etc according to the various shapes and rise of eye-brows.

B.  Lips - in Teaching Learning PROCESS:-

After the eyes, the lips also contribute much in extending the potency of the nonverbal communication in the teaching learning process. When the movement of the lips accord with the language of eyes and  hands, the composite combination of these tools becomes the most perfect mode of non-verbal communication. This is what and by virtue of which the infants, the disabled - deaf or dumb and even pet animals can learn and respond up to desired level.

The different and varied shapes of the lips, through expansion and contraction, all contribute and facilitate various gestures to understand and appreciate the hidden aspects other than what the plains words convey. However, closed, smiling, frowned, open lips and other different shapes themselves speak of various emotions and expressions like surprise, terrified, wry, fear, appreciation, disgust etc.

C.  The effects of the inflection  oF the tone of the voice :-

The inflection of tone simply refers the 'rise and fall' of the tone of the voice of the teacher. It plays very significant role in conveying and transmitting the 'real' message through the words   uttered by the teacher. The word may have one plain meaning in its natural articulation and presentation but when it is uttered in different tone and inflection, it may give different messages and sometimes quite contrary to that of its actual explanation in that situation.

Thus, A word may have two sense or messages in general way of communications: First is from its verbal of which it stands literally and other is non-verbal which is understood and appreciated due to the tone and its inflection. Therefore, the inflection of the tone must be carefully practised according to the textual reference. When the inflection is associated with face expression and body gestures, the composite presentation can ensure maximum Learning, Retention & Recalling of the contents.

By virtue of personality and activities, when teaching is equipped with the application of Body-Language as
software teaching Gears, the teacher may control and bind the class such effectively that he can even point out the names of those students who could not receive or learn due to either internal or some external causes of hindrances.

As the bat emits the waves as in- built  radar from his mouth which propagates across the open area unless interrupted by any objects as hindrances causing the waves back to the bat. The bat very instantly detects the location in distance and direction of the hindrances so accurately by the echolocation to change the course with its speed, height and direction as the suitable remedial measures. Similarly, the teacher transmits the information with the psycho-waves so assuredly that he himself critically appreciate and know the reception and learning by each of the students, in the class. Moreover, he can well judge the defaulting students by psycholocation in the classroom, and then suitable changes may be applied as remedial measures for these students who failed in reception-learning and retention.

D. Role and effects of movement of hands :-

It has been observed that when the teacher delivers his lecture without associating the gestures by the hands according to the situations and content, the teacher fails to develop interestand imagination in the minds of the students. The teaching, therefore, often falls into criticism being boring or monotonous and uninspiring. Therefore, the movement of the hands play very significant role in developing interest, imagination and concentration up to required level in the teaching learning process.

i) About the Students: - There are many other various nonverbal gestures made by hands to            understand and appraise the learning level among the students. Open hands (palm) signifies honesty and fairness of the students, the shoulder shrug refers the ignorance or confusion within the minds of the students, covering the mouth or touching somewhere around the mouth suggests that the student is telling a lie, touching the ears signifies to block out the teacher's reprimands, neck-scratch gives the signal of doubt or uncertainty etc. all are various important gestures by which the teacher can self-appraise the effectiveness of his teaching learning process in the classroom.

ii) For the Teachers: For the teachers, the use of movements of hands play very significant role in the delivery or presentation. With the use of relevant gestures through hands, the information or contents can be imparted so effectively that the students can respond with better retention and recalling. Especially for Small-Age group and retarded students with the help of movement of his hands which may act as the controlling band for the students, the teacher can present himself as a fascinating magician or director to create an imaginary event of textual reference in the class in his teaching process.

E. The  Role and effects of movement of legs  :-

Legs are no less important that the above quoted sources of non-verbal communication & interaction as well as in teaching learning process. Without the movement of legs the teaching-learning process cannot be a moving and proving successful. When a teacher delivers his lecture from only one stagnant point, he cannot have accessibility in equal degree to all the students sitting far from his teaching point. Therefore, the corner students may escape the contacts or avoid control of the teacher. As a result, the teaching - learning process may fail to achieve the desired goals. The movements of the teachers... Forward, backward and within the classroom are very significant and inevitable to know, understand and appreciate the response and reactions or the students for the effective teaching learning process. Therefore, the teacher should neither stand in one point, nor there should be anything like teacher's desks or dais between the teacher and the students because sometimes the nonliving things also signify as the barrier itself in non-verbal language.


All the previous details have drawn our attention on the multi dimensional scope and utilities of the body language in Teaching - Learning Process. The ultimate aim of the proposed article  as the software teaching gears is to provide quality education with due facilities and felicities. With all its facts and figures, the studies and application of this new approach will surely bring new heights in the professional - repertoires of the teachers.

However, as its limitations, it is important to consider what effects of a person's physical restrictions or disabilities may have on his or her body movements. Moreover, the fake body language will not help much to our interpretation and expectations. Necessary precautions should be taken into general considerations about its misuse and misinterpretation.

Despites its limitations up to a very small degree it can be concluded in a nutshell that without the studies and applications of the Body-Language thE Teaching - Learning process will remain Handicaped !

Prabhakar Tripathi
M.Sc.; MA; B.Ed.; MPA
Asst. Registrar
Disha Institute of Management and Technology

Source: E-mail August 8, 2009


Articles No. 1-99 / Articles No. 100-199 / Articles No. 200-299 / Articles No. 300-399 / Articles No. 400-499
Articles No. 500-599 / Articles No. 600-699 / Articles No. 700-799 / Articles No. 800 to 899
Back to Articles 900-1000 / Articles 1001 Onward / Faculty Column Main Page