Level: Intermediate and up.

Age: Teenagers and up.

Aims: Developing speaking skills; expressing different points of view; listening comprehension. Visual Aids: Photos, pictures, video clips of various ball games.

Time: 1 lesson.

 

Warm-up. 3-5 minutes.

Ask your students to name as many sports and games where a ball is used as they can; have two students write down all the games mentioned on the board. They should be able to produce at least half a dozen names: football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, golf, cricket. If they produce more names, e.g. soccer and rugby, give them a bonus point each.

 

Vocabulary work. 5 minutes.

If you have an e-board in the classroom, open up your own list with several word combinations and expressions with the word ball, both verbal and noun/adjective ones: to hit, catch, throw, send, miss, kick a ball; tennis, football, golf, cricket ball. Draw their attention to the fact that not every ball is round, for instance rugby is played with an oval (egg-shaped) ball. Explain a few idioms, to show your students that the word is used not only in sports and games: to have too many balls in the air, the ball is in somebody’s court, to start the ball rolling, a whole new ball game, to drop the ball.

If you do not have an e-board, just use the usual blackboard, or distribute word cards.

 

Listening Comprehension. 10 minutes.

Watch the video called “When Did You Learn English?”. Depending on how good your students’ listening skills are, you may have to play the segment two or three times. Be sure to write down the players’ names on the board.

Let the students work in pairs or small groups to  answer the following questions:

  1. Who said that at first, he only knew a few words?
  2. Who has been in the UK for seven years?
  3. Who said that here, English was very different?
  4. Who studied for two hours a week for a year?
  5. Who said that in his country, everybody spoke English, though not very well?
  6. Who spoke of his trip to Belgium?

 

Answers: 1 – Gilberto Silva; 2 – Ivar Ingimarsson; 3 – Didier Drogba; 4 – Petr Cech; 5 – Dirk Kuyt; 6 – Mido.

 

Discussion. 8-10 minutes.

Quote Mido’s excellent phrase: “Language is not only about learning… it’s about talking to people”.

Ask your students to agree or disagree with Mido’s words. If necessary, give them a few prompts:

How do they see the main purposes of studying English?

Which aspect is more important, e.g. learning grammar, or being able to understand real live speech and to express one’s ideas, or to read books?

Is it enough to be able to use the computers and surf the web?

Is communication with their peers around the globe important for them?

 

Teacher’s Note: as long as your students produce full sentences and manage to express their own thoughts on the subject, any answers should be accepted. You may need to mull over some of them, and to offer feedback or introduce some corrections in a follow-up lesson.

 

Language. Speaking about time in sports. 5-7 minutes.

Remind your students that in sports, practically every game is divided into certain time periods. Ask them if the words used are always the same, or if each kind of sport has its own set of definitions. Ask them to match the words on the right with the sport name on the left.

  1. set                                                                  a. golf                        
  2. time                                                               b. hockey
  3. period                                                           c. chess
  4. round                                                            d. tennis
  5. inning                                                            e. football
  6. game                                                             f. cricket

 

Answers: 1 – d, 2 – e, 3 – b, 4 – a, 5 – f, 6 – c.

 

Teacher’s Note: All the words on the right have more than one meaning! For example, the noun game is used to describe any sport. Point out if necessary that here, we are dealing only with some specific uses of the familiar words.

 

Consolidation. Writing and Speaking. 10 minutes.

Ask each student to choose their own favourite game or sport and quickly write two or three sentences to explain why they prefer it to all the others. Then suggest that they walk around the class to see if anybody else chose the same sport. Let them compare their preferences, and try to find points of similarities in their approach. 

 

Round Up. 3-5 minutes.

Remind the students that the sportsmen they watched in the beginning of the lesson spoke about the importance of learning English. Suggest that for the next lesson, they come up with either lists of several professions where English is absolutely necessary or with their own ideas about some professions and occupations where the knowledge of a foreign language is not needed.

 

Нина Коптюг, учитель английского языка, кандидат филологических наук, Новосибирск