Paralinguistics are the aspects of spoken communication that do not involve words. These may add emphasis or shades of meaning to what people say. Some definitions limit this to verbal communication that is not words.

Body language, gestures, facial expressions, tone and pitch of voice are all examples of paralinguistic features.

In the classroom
Paralinguistic features of language are extremely important as they can change message completely. Tone and pitch of voice is commonly dealt with at all language levels, but a fuller consideration of paralinguistics is often left to very advanced courses.

Further links:

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.