Breathing: Neglected Pillar of Prosody and Body Language in Language Teaching

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Luc Meskens, House Artemis Communication Consulting, Matsumoto University

Breathing is not merely the engine of all speech; by seasoning discourse with emotion and interpretive shades, it plays a key role in conferring authenticity to a message. As such, it is the more invisible alter ego of body language and operates in the shadow of prosody. While body language is culturally determined, breathing obeys laws that are unique to each language, whether verbal or nonverbal. For its interactive ability to generate gespeech, breathing deserves far more awareness among Foreign Language (FL) instructors. Examples that highlight the importance of “breathing” and suggestions as to ways to incorporate “breathing” in day-to-day FL teaching may stimulate the FL teacher to let these ideas find their way to the classroom.