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 are a study of gestures in teacher talk 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 gesture and gender with Jeff Daitsman, National Louis University, and a project on teaching thinking for speaking with Jim Lantolf, Penn State University.
Prof. Stam gave two presentations at ISGS 6, 6th Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies: Gesture in Interaction, University of California, San Diego, CA, July 8-11, 2014.

One presentation was entitled "Abstract or concrete word: How the gestures of future teachers differ." It was part of a panel on Teacher's Gestures in Instruction: Attitudes, Behavior, and Research Approaches. It discussed a study she conducted with Marion Tellier (Aix-Marseille Universite’) to explore how the type of word being explained affects the gestures of future French foreign language teachers when they engage in a vocabulary explanation task with native and non-native speakers of French.
The second presentation was "A second language learner's thinking for speaking in her L1 and L2 after fourteen years: Verb framed, satellite-framed or in between?" It discussed a longitudinal study she conducted to investigate how an English language learner's expression of path and manner linguistically and gesturally in her L1 (Spanish) and L2 (English) changed over a fourteen year period.
Here is a link to the abstracts.
Prof. Stam also gave a presentation at the 5th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference at Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, July 29-31, 2014.
The talk entitled "Verb framed, satellite-framed or in between? A second language learner's thinking for speaking in her L1 and L2 after fourteen years" demonstrated that a second language learner's gestural expression of path continued to change in both her L1 and L2 and that her gestural expression of manner changed in her L2 between 2006 and 2011. This change suggests that manner is not resistant to change after all (Slobin 1996; Stam 2010) and thinking for speaking is not static.
Prof. Stam 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.

Contact Information:

Gale Stam, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

National Louis University

5202 Old Orchard Road, Room 208

Skokie, IL 60077-4409




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


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