How to Communicate Without Language

As I go through stuff I would have posted on if this blog had been active, I remembered this interview I did for my alumni magazine on How to Find Your Voice. My piece is called “How to Communicate Without Language” and I hope it gives some tips for communicating in a different culture. Stuff like body language and cultural communication really should be part of any ESL class, as well as intonation and emphasis.

By the way, I love the last interview on how to speak with an accent too. And using accents can be a fun thing to do when you learn English. As I said recently, I don’t believe in emphasizing learning an accent because it really isn’t that important in English and because there are more important things to learn. But as a way to make speaking fun and to get yourself (or your students over a stumbling block) using accents, especially exaggerated accents, can be a lot of fun. I once had my students perform the “In Hampshire, Hereford and Hartford hurricanes hardly ever happen” scene from My Fair Lady and they loved it, as well as picking up an understanding of the “h” sound in English. We went back and forth between Cockney and “proper” British and they absolutely ate it up.

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