Should language learners make a point of talking with their hands?

Should language learners make a point of talking with their hands? Not mime words per se, but simply moving the hands as an adjunct to the flow of speech.

As a teacher, I have sometimes used hand movements as a way to reinforce vocabulary as well as pronunciation. That is, if I am teaching a young learner a spatial concept such as “circle” I may have them make a circle movement with their hands; or if I am teaching a feature of accent I may have learners tap out a rhythm on their knees etc. It seems obvious to most teachers that this aids in memory retention

In addition, this article makes the following points about “talking with the hands”

-People who tend to have trouble finding the right words to get their message across are more likely to speak with their hands.

-Bilinguals are more likely to gesture than people who speak only one language.

I believe it is also true that those who talk with their hands are generally perceived as more friendly and open.

So if we are aiding our memory, helping our talking procedures, acting like bilinguals generally, and seem more friendly and open, should talking with our hands be something we consciously try to do when speaking a language we are learning?

I do, but I’m fairly expressive in English as well.

We either engage our hands when talking or we don’t. We can’t willfully talk with our hands, without it becoming very unnatural.

I tend to agree… but it is a grey area. We could do it alone and just let it emerge naturally in public, …or not as the case may be.

I was videoed in Russian a week ago talking about Moscow by a soldier near a cathedral, when I watched the clip, I realised when I didn’t know a word well, or struggled with a phrase, I used my hands a lot more. Interesting.