Silence and Speaking English

You might wonder what silence has to do with speaking English well. Perhaps you associate it with awkward silence because you can’t remember a word or you are afraid to speak out?

Well, silence is a language that we are all fluent in, whatever our mother tongue, and silence can say a lot!

Silence is the source of all language, as all words emerge from silence.

Silence can be a moment of friendship, with a warm look and a smile. Silence can add impact after a simple but powerful statement in the middle of a presentation. A short silence can give you time to gather your thoughts and reflect on what you want to say, giving it more weight and significance. Silence can help you really focus on another person speaking and give them your total attention.
If silence is relaxed and confident, it will greatly add to the power of what you have to say.
It will also allow you to breathe, slow down and connect with the person or people you are with.

To make silence more comfortable, try to consciously move from thinking down to feeling for a second. Can you feel your feet flat on the floor? Can you feel the contact of your clothes with your skin and the sensation of sitting or standing in this moment? Notice the sensation of your breathing, the rise and fall of your abdomen or quite simply the flow of air in your nostrils as you breathe in and then breathe out. Just moving your attention gently in this way brings more comfort and space to your English speaking.

Silence is free and it can greatly enhance your English if you allow it to. Try consciously enjoying it for a few seconds here and there in the day. Give yourself a moment of silence before you begin to say something in English so that you can settle into the moment with more awareness.

At Cambridge Express I help students to speak with awareness and to take moments of silence to relax and feel more comfortable with their English.


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