Manchester United Soccer Schools’ English language curriculum is unique. Not only does our partner teach using a syllabus where sport is integrated with the English language teaching, but they also use the latest technology to keep our classes interactive, engaging and above all else fun!
The Verbalists Language Network recently spoke to David Pepper, Soccer Schools Head of Academic Studies, to find out more about the English language teaching on the Manchester United camps…
What’s a typical English language lesson like?
“Typically we make our English lessons as interactive and as entertaining as possible, in order to make children feel safe when they are in the classroom; we want all of our students to have the confidence to use their language skills!
We do this by developing a good rapport with the kids and by teaching them that it’s okay to make mistakes, because we learn from these mistakes. We also use football-themed examples, including ones from Manchester United’s first team, which keeps students interested and in turn makes them feel confident.”
How do you use football-themed examples in English lessons?
“We might look at the different qualities and characteristics that you need to be to be a footballer. For example, we might ask children “what qualities do you need to have to be the captain of a football team?” We would then look towards Wayne Rooney and note what qualities he possesses which make him a good captain, for instance he has good leadership skills and is able to work well in a team.
As the camps progress, we ask children to create their own dream teams, using players from teams all around the world. This creates some fantastic debate within the groups as students show preference to players from their home countries!”
How do you tailor each class to the ability of the children within it? For instance, what should a beginner coming on our soccer camps expect and what should an advanced student expect?
“The pace of the lesson and topics covered differ between our advanced and beginner classes, as we have different English learning outcomes. For instance, in our beginner classes the pace is slower as we cover the fundamentals of the language.
Whereas, in our advanced classes we would go into more depth, encouraging teenagers to recognise and understand vocabulary. Additionally, children in our advanced classes will explore the different aspects of speech, looking at both verbal and non-verbal communication, such as sarcasm, irony and metaphorical language.”
Do you think students benefit from learning English on our camps?
“Definitely. While we don’t expect students to become professionals, we expect them to grow during the course of the camp as every lesson that our teachers deliver has a clear English learning outcome.
Students and parents frequently tell us about how they’ve gone on to take part in further examinations, which is always great to hear. However, my favourite story from our camps last summer was when one child’s parents came up to me and said that their child had started the camp speaking absolutely no English, but during the camp he had phoned them up and told them both all about his daily routine, in English! I find it incredibly rewarding to see a child arrive without much language skills and leave with lots!”
Manchester United Soccer Schools is a truly international camp hosting players (8- 17 years) from more than 60 countries. It is a unique and life-enriching experience. During two weeks, players will learn a great deal of English, improve their football skills, make new friends and grow in confidence and self-belief.
To see the program details, pricing, photo and video galleries, please click here.
The US based Prodirekt LLC, with its Verbalists Language Network, represents exclusively Manchester United Soccer Schools in the Southeast Europe. The non-exclusive representation of MUSS covers the whole world, so contact us and enroll to “play the united way”.