Everyone knows that singers and athletes need to be able to control their breathing. What about speakers of a new language?
We all know how to breathe, don’t we? We’ve been doing it since we were born! When speaking another language, though, people often forget to breathe properly because they are so busy thinking about new vocabulary and making sure their grammar is perfect.
If you want to sound fluent in a new language, though, it’s very important to breathe properly. Breathing correctly will help your English in these ways:
- it will help you stay calm and not be overcome by nerves
- it will force you to divide your speech into chunks that are easier for the listener to understand
- it will give you time to think about what you are going to say next
- it will mean you have enough air in your lungs to project your voice and help your pronunciation
Here’s how to do it:
- slow down. You need time to breathe!
- take a breath before you start speaking. Get off to a good start and make sure you don’t run out of air!
- don’t be afraid to pause. Lots of the bet public speakers pause regularly when they are speaking. This gives people time to think about what you are saying.
- practise speaking loudly. This will force you to breathe deeply and will help exercise the muscles you need for correct pronunciation. Even if you don’t speak loudly in real life, it’s an important thing to practise.