How mindfulness can help us learn English better

by | Sep 23, 2021 | Mindset and motivation | 0 comments

Mindfulness may not be something you associate with learning English but read on to find out why you should.

Learning a language is not always easy, especially when we’re busy with our other day-to-day responsibilities.

Do you ever feel unfocused, stressed, overwhelmed or anxious and think that it’s impossible?

I get it.

I’m trying to learn Swedish at the moment, as well as teach 3 days in a school, build my online language coaching business, take my son to his football matches, check in with my daughter (she’s just left home for uni), wash up, cook, clean, do yoga…

It’s not easy, right?

That’s why I turned to Marusya Price; a teacher, mindfulness life coach, blogger, content creator and author of 101 activities to teach English Mindfully. Marusya discovered the benefits of mindfulness when she was forced to give up her dream job and found herself in a difficult situation. With the help of mindfulness she turned her life around and is now doing amazing things that she’d never dreamed of doing before.


“Empowering my students is my lifelong quest. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing how they grow not only as confident English speakers but also as compassionate, kind and self-assured individuals.”

– 101 Activities to Teach English Mindfully, Marusya Price


After noticing that many of her students felt stressed and overwhelmed, she started using mindfulness tools to help them learn English. The results? They are calmer, more focused and more creative.

I wanted to know more. How could I help my students and myself learn a language better?

Here’s what Marusya told me…


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being aware of our thoughts and feelings without judging them, having an open mind and a present awareness. Mindfulness is not being on autopilot.

“It is as important to work out regularly in order to have strong body muscles as it is to practise mindful living in order to have a happy, healthy and focused mind.”

– 101 Activities to Teach English Mindfully – Marusya Price, 2021

 What are some of the benefits of mindfulness?

Our mind is calmer and when our mind is calmer we can focus and remember things better. We are more compassionate with others and ourselves. We become more self-aware and we learn things about ourselves. Also when we tame our busy mind we create and write better.

“We are born to be creative and every time we make a decision or design something, we have the chance to show our uniqueness.”

– 101 Activities to Teach English Mindfully – Marusya Price, 2021

 What’s a “brain pause”?

A brain pause is literally what it says, we allow the brain to pause and take a break. It can be something as simple as taking a few mindful breaths. Brain pauses can be taken at the beginning or end of a class or even in the middle before the start of a new activity. If we are distracted they help us focus, if we are sleepy they help us wake up, if we are agitated they help us calm down and center ourselves.

The lotus mediation is a simple activity we can do to take a brain pause.


Can anyone use mindfulness to learn a language?

Mindfulness can and should be used with all ages in all subjects. Our current education systems need a big shake up. If teachers first explain to students how their brain works and the benefits of mindfulness tools like breathing, students don’t usually resist. Some students even insist that class starts with a few seconds of mindful breathing.


What’s the best way to get started with mindfulness?

Be brave to experiment! We don’t need to do a course. 101 Activities to Teach Mindfully is perfect for teachers who don’t know anything about mindfulness. As well as simple activities which students can do in class, the introduction explains what mindfulness is and the benefits of using it when learning a language.


Can you share an example of a mindful activity?

Visualisations, a kind of themed guided tour (e.g Winter Wonderland) are perfect for learning and remembering vocabulary in a relaxed environment. When we feel relaxed, we are “able to access our creative juices.” Adding sound effects to our visualisations wakes up the senses and helps us be more present. Students can even create their own visualisations.

“Scientists have proved that when we express our creativity regularly, our mental and physical health is boosted, and we feel happier. It is in those creative moments when dopamine is released in our body and we feel joyful. What is more, it is claimed that we become more focused and our brain’s cognitive function is improved.”

– 101 Activities to Teach English Mindfully – Marusya Price, 2021

 A favourite activity?

When we are talking about food and cooking for example:

  1. Brainstorm adjectives to describe food
  2. Pretend you are eating the food e.g an orange, can other people guess what you are eating? Use your body language and facial expressions to give them clues
    • What colour is it?
    • What shape is it?
    • What does it feel like?
    • What does it smell like?
    • What does it taste like?

A huge thanks to Marusya for this interview. Do you have any questions for her? Do you just want to say thanks for sharing? Drop them in the comments below.

Watch the whole interview.

Connect with Marusya:

If you’re looking for some more ways you can enjoy learning English, check out my post 5 Ways to Enjoy Learning English: How to be an Optimistic Language Learner

And if you’re wondering how to be a smarter English learner, take my quiz Are you a Smart English Learner?

You’ll discover simple things you can do to help you improve your fluency in English faster and more effectively.