I mentioned 'flow' in my last blog. How do teachers establish the right atmosphere for achieving a flow state in their classes. Well, one component is the way they use their voices. A tired flat voice is guaranteed to close down access to flow! But a vibrant voice, full of energy and life is one way to enagge positively with learners. Just think back to your own learning history and visualize a teacher who had a memorable voice (either positively or negatively).
It is particularly important for language teachers to use the resource of their voice well. Learners will inevitably associate the impressions they have of your voice with their overall impression of the language they are learning. You can literally turn them on - or off - by the way you sound.
In view of this, it is scandalous (in my view) that teacher tyraining courses do not incorporate a voice training element in their programmes. Your voice is your number one resource: it sets the tone for everything you do; it identifies you as an interesting or a boring person; it gives your students a model to work towards. What is more, if you misuse or overuse your voice, eventually you will have serious problems. And your voice is not like a car - when it breaks down, you cannot go out and buy a new one.
I believe it is high time we atarted to take our voices seriously. How about you?
Alan's now finished blogging on the site - check the Guest Writers page to see contributions from other guests.