Below is a list of ten football games you can ask learners who are getting ready to watch the world cup. All these games were chosen because some of your learners may well be playing them at home or at friends. As well as being popular, engaging and fun to play they also offer great opportunities to learn some soccer / footie vocabulary or a discussion platform for English Language Learners.
“SoccerManager.com is free of charge. You manage your team using your web browser. Matches are played at least twice a week.
You can log on at any time to check the status of your squad, check results and fixtures, make player transfers or just have a chat with the rapidly expanding SoccerManager.com community.” Learners learn new vocabulary as they play, can discuss matches, strategies and their team in class.
“You take control of a football club and compete against other managers from all over the world in your bid for the domestic championship and international cup glory.
As a football manager, you have full control over your club including managing the club finances, wheeling and dealing in the transfer markets, managing club staff and a myriad of other options that will challenge even the best budding football managers.”
Learners learn new vocabulary as they play, can discuss matches, strategies and their team in class.
A games site dedicated to football. In class I showed this game page (right) in class and went through each one asking learners what they thought they would have to do. As they predicted some very useful football vocabulary was fed onto the board and copied with some enthusiasm by the boys in the class. Topics and vocabulary covered included the role of different players/ positions in a game, football violence on and off the pitch, the pros and cons of penalty playoffs etc Class ended with students writing down and perfecting the best definition of “The off-side trap” in exactly 50 words.
“The objective of the game is different from manager to manager. It can be to have one or more players in a national team, to aim for league or cup glory, or simply to achieve stability by raising and training your players properly. You define your own objectives. However, we can say Planetarium Manager is all about starting from the very bottom and achieving planetarium success.” Learners choose their in game objectives and present their progress to the class in the form of a powerpoint pecha kucha presentation. Can they justify their decisions to the class afterwards?
5 FIFA 11
This is a video of a console game that was released by the EA Sports trademark. Turn the watching into a game. Divide the class into teams. Tell the teams that they take turns to say ‘stop’ anytime, you’ll stop the video and they can ask the other team a question about what they can see on the video. Award points on the nature of their questions in the following way 1 = general knowledge 2 = language 3 = Connected question (related to picture on screen).
Why not get learners to make their own timelines based on the history of football video games? This site has a lot of information but only three pages which learners can scan read for dates and short event descriptions. e.g.
1980s Atari rules the gaming market
1981 Pele’s soccer is released (passive)
1987 Nintendo release ‘soccer’ (active)
Use timelines to focus on tenses as well as vocabulary items.
A site run by the British Council aimed at football fans of all ages with a definite emphasis on language, fun and football. Either play games in a computer room and test your learners reading skills and football knowledge with a football rules quiz or play a game in open class and vote on the right answers while testing their football vocabulary. There are plenty of games to play here as well as a ‘Behind the scenes‘ section providing listening practice as real footballers talk of their footballing experiences. Definitely worth a look.
Use the single player option in this game as a reward for work done well in class or as an incentive to learners to do some more boring work. My class were doing an end of unit assessment in their coursebook which was split into a dozen sections over two pages. The first person to finish a section, bring me their book for me to check, got all the answers right then got to take the freekick. Young learners loved it.
A great game for low levels to practice colours and clothes vocabulary (top/ t-shirt, long-sleeved top, shorts, trainers, and sunglasses). It was also useful to use ordinals (first, second, third etc). I played this in a connected classroom and had learners sitting at the front of the class in front of the IWB where they dictated their player to me. Because they all had an opinion on what they wanted the player to wear this acted as a drilling activity (even if a little chaotic). I chose learners randomly at first then if I heard any mispronunciations, I focused on that. The activity lasts longer if you ask learners to make the worst football strip, one for their school, one for an enemy to wear, one they would wear etc
A selection of quizzes that cover a wide range of national and international teams as well as football personalities. You can set challenges to your learners and see who gets the best score in one particular quiz, use them for reading practice for fast task finishing football fans. If you find a ‘quiz generator‘ or ‘make your own quiz‘ online you can use the quizzes as models to get learners to make their own.
With the FIFA World Cup starting it seems a wasted opportunity not to use football in the classroom.