Can someone learn ENGLISH through playing a SPORT?



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You bet!

I remember years ago when I was teaching a mixed group of children, some from the US, some from Germany and one from Korea, and the interesting point was that the Korean boy refused to speak and learn any English whatsoever in the class and in fact refused to do anything at all until his father had finished his two year contract and was going to take the whole family back to Korean and everything would be back to normal. This boy (and his classwork) was a real challenge and nothing seemed to work, until one day when I was in the playground I noticed him on the field being goalie for a team he was representing. I was really pleased to see he was interacting with everyone, but more than anything else I was shocked to see that he was yelling at the top of his voice phrases like:

‘Hey over here!”

“Kick it this way!”

“I’m just here! I’m just here!”

…and so on.

I was shocked and amazed that his passion for the sport had forced him to pick the key language get the team going. He was actually the most active member of the team and eventually turned out to be the one who had the most cunning strategies and fastest moves to get all the team on board.

So I guess what I am saying is that if you have someone in your class or family who is just refusing to learn English, try them in a game where their passion runs high. He will be forced to speak (or yell) English phrases at the top of his voice so he won’t let the team down and better still bring them all to victory.

Many sports (particularly football) have a large amount of English phrases (as mentioned in my previous post of world cup English) Check them out:

Sport can be a great motivator to get those people starting to use English.

Any other ideas from you?


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