This study investigates the perception and production of a specific type of metaphoric gesture that mimics melody in speech, also called pitch gesture, in the learning of L2 suprasegmental features. In a between-subjects design, a total of 106 participants with no previous knowledge of Chinese were asked to observe (Experiment 1) and produce (Experiment 2) pitch gestures during a short multimodal training session on Chinese tones and words. In both experiments they were tested on (a) tone identification and (b) word learning. Results showed the positive effect of a training session with pitch gesture observation compared to a training session without it (Experiment 1) and the benefits of producing gestures compared to only observing them and repeating the words aloud (Experiment 2). A comparison of the results of the two experiments revealed that there was no significant difference between the simple observation of pitch gestures and the production of speech accompanied by pitch gestures in facilitating lexical tone identification and word learning. Thus, both perception and production tasks with pitch gestures can be regarded as beneficial learning strategies for the initial stages of tones acquisition in the Chinese as a Second Language classroom.