Yes, Virginia, everybody, it seems, was talking about the Super Bowl 49 (those Xs and Ls confuse me – XLIX). I’ve never been into sports in general, sometimes I think the players score a “SHUTDOWN” instead of a “TOUCHDOWN”. What did I tell you?
But for my English classes I MUST at least know what the Super Bowl is, where it’s being played and which teams are participating.
It’s a great class warm-up activity having students Q&A about the championship. Over the past 5 to 10 years, the interest in the NFL has grown exponentially here in Brazil, with both ladies (a few) and gents (majority) buying the jerseys of their favorite teams, footballs and any other imaginable gear.
Well, listen, a teacher’s gotta do what he’s gotta do to pique his students’ interest. We use the statistics to practice numbers and TV commentaries to practice their listening.
So if that’s what it takes for them to learn verbs such as: pulling for, rooting for, cheering, supporting, etc. and use them in correct sentences… Wow. That’s made my day.
We can also see sports terms used in business or everyday life. A simple list can be found here but the teacher can get the students together and make their own lists – gridiron, Hail Mary, game plan, jerseys, etc: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/common-football-terms-to-know.html
In the past I would mostly complain about this cultural fad imported by the local bourgeoisie and would grunt comments such as “why don’t we import respect for property, a fast legal system, less corrupt police, work ethics, etc…” But now I must say that Doris Day was right when she sang “Que será, será”. “Whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, que será, será”. So… let’s take advantage of this passion and learn some English along the way. If I succeed in getting them to improve the pronunciation of some names and positions, I’ll say it’s been worth it.