Gale Stam, Ph.D.


Professor, Department of Psychology
Co-coordinator, B.A. in Psychology Program

Programs/Classes Taught:

B.A. in Psychology
M.A. in Psychology
Ph.D. in Community Psychology

LAP 303 Introduction to Psycholinguistics
LAP 348 Cross-Cultural Communication
LAP 350 Culture and Self
LAP 351 Language and Identity
LAP 441 Psychology of Artistic Expression
LAP 499 Psychology Seminar (with a focus on gesture research)
LAP 507 Theories of Cognitive Psychology
LAP 516 Research Design for Psychology
LAP 518 Child and Adolescent Development
LAP 548 Ethics and Legal Issues in Psychology
INT 512A Research Design and Methodology
LAP 670 Advanced Cross-Cultural Communication

Areas of Expertise:

Psycholinguistics, Speech and Gesture, Language and Culture, Language and Cognition, Cognitive Development, First and Second Language Acquisition and Gesture, Linguistics, Teachers' Gestures, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Writing, Grammar


Gale Stam, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois. She is an alumna of the McNeill Lab Center for Gesture and Speech Research at the University of Chicago, was an invited researcher at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage (LPL) in Aix-en-Provence, France (February - June 2010), and retains close ties to both labs. Her research interests include language and culture, language and cognition, gesture, and first language and second language acquisition, and teachers' gestures. She has published articles on changes in thinking for speaking, the importance of looking at gesture in second language (L2) acquisition, gesture and lexical retrieval in a L2, and language teachers’ gestures. She is a member of editorial board of the journals Gesture and Langauge and Sociocultural Theory. She has also co-edited two volumes on speech and gesture – Gesture: Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Research (Routledge, 2008) and Integrating Gestures: The Interdisciplinary Nature of Gesture (John Benjamins, 2011).


Ph.D. Psychology — Cognition and Communication June 2006 The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL M.A. Linguistics — TESL April 1985 Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL B.A. with Honors Political Science, Minor History June 1974 University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Research and Interests:

Prof. Stam's research interests include language and culture, language and cognition, gesture, and first language and second language acquisition. She is particularly interested in thinking for speaking and gesture (the development of first language thinking for speaking and how thinking for speaking about motion changes both linguistically and gesturally with second language acquisition), speech and gesture interlanguage, the effect of gesture in oral proficiency interviews, the function of gesture in lexical retrieval, and language teachers' gestures.

Her current research projects include a study of gestures in teacher talk (GTT) with Marion Tellier, Aix-Marseille University and CNRS Laboratoire Parole et Langage, a longitudinal study of L1 thinking for speaking, a longitudinal study of changes in L2 thinking for speaking, a project on teaching thinking for speaking with Jim Lantolf, Penn State University, a project on gesture and preposition learning with Kimi Nakatsukasa, Texas Tech University, and Benjamin White, St. Michael's College, and a project on understanding of thinking for speaking in Xhosa language speakers learning English in South Africa with Heather Brookes, University of Cape Town.

Prof. Stam is a frequent presenter at conferences and as an invited speaker. Some of her most recent presentations include the following:

  • "Task Effects on Speech and Gesture: Implications for Second Language Acquisition," American Association of Applied Linguistics, Orlando, Florida, April 9-12, 2016.

  • "How Gesture Reveals Learners' Thinking for Speaking in their Second Language," Texas Tech University, November 10, 2015.
  • "Gesture and Preposition Learning" with Kimi Nakatsukasa and Benjamin White, XXII Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning Research Working Group Meeting, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, October 1-3, 2015.
  • "Gesture as a Window Onto Conceptualization", Seminaire BLRI (Brain and Language Research Institute), Aix en Provence, France, June 19, 2015.
  • "Converging evidence in Thinking, Doing, Learning from one dataset" invited colloquium,Thinking, Doing, Learning (TDL2), Usage-based Perspectives on Second Language Learning Conference, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, June 3-5, 2015.
  • "Gesture and Thinking for Speaking,"Exploring the Role of Thinking-for-Speaking in Second Language Education," American Association of Applied Linguistics, Toronto, Canada, March 2015.

Here most recent publications include the following:

  • Sekine, K., Stam, G., Yoshioka, K., Tellier, M. and Capirci, O. (2015). Cross-linguistic views of gesture usage. Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 12, 91-105.
  • Stam, G. (2015). Changes in thinking for speaking: A longitudinal case study. In E. Bylund & P. Athanasopolous, (Guest Editors), The language and thought of motion in second language speakers. Modern Language Journal, 99(S1), 83-99.
  • Stam, G. (2014). Further changes in L2 thinking for speaking? In C. Mller, A. Cienki, E. Fricke, S. H. Ladewig, D. McNeill and S. Tessendorf (Eds.) Body Language Communication: An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction. Volume 2, 1875-1886.Handbooks of Linguistics and CommunicationScience/Handbcher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft. Berlin, New York: Mouton De Gruyter.
  • Stam, G. (2014). Why Gesture! AL Forum - The Newsletter of the Applied Linguistics Section, TESOL, September 2014.


Prof. has published a short story, "Andrei's Chance," about an individual's struggle with drug addiction and the choices he makes. The story can be found on Amazon Kindle. She has also published a fairy tale "In Ten Days," which is not a fairy tale of a prince saving the day, but one where children learn about cooperation and the value of women. "In Ten Days" can also be found on Amazon Kindle.


Contact Information:

Gale Stam, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

National Louis University

5202 Old Orchard Road, Room 326

Skokie, IL 60077-4409




For a selected list of publications and presentations and for her CV see 


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