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Personal profile


Research Overview

My focus of interest is gestures, movements of the hands and arms co-occurring with speech, a modality used together with language to externalize the thought. I first became aware of gestures as a field of research when analyzing why non-proficient speakers could not successfully communicate with native speakers. Aside from the obvious lack of language proficiency, there was also an apparent lack of proficiency in nonverbal skills that hindered creating meaningful content and relevant pragmatic meaning. The ultimate aim of my research is to prove the link between thought speech and gesture. I believe that gestures help alleviate cognitive load in thinkers/speakers but also that they carry a significant portion of the pragmatic meaning of our utterances.

In the early stages of my studies, I was fortunate to be challenged by Prof. David McNeill, who is one of the founding fathers of research into gestures, leading to a joint publication in 2017. In this paper we discussed the meaning of the ‘Growth Point’, McNeill’s hypothesis explaining the gesture-speech-thought link. Currently, I am working with other gesture researchers in Prof. Gale Stam’s AILA Research Network “Gesture, Multimodality, and SLA”.

Teaching areas

European languages and cultures
European trade and expansionism
Spanish language
Second language teaching

Research Interests

Cognitive pragmatics
Second Language acquisition

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Business Administration, INSEAD

Master in Applied Linguistics for the Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language, Jaen University

Bachelor of Engineering, The University of Leeds

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Málaga


  • P Philology. Linguistics
  • PC Romance languages


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