About the Football English Blog
This blog is for learners of English to improve their listening skills and vocabulary. It contains videos about football which have been carefully chosen for learners: the vocabulary and pronunciation features of the videos make them more accessible for learners than most videos you find on YouTube. By engaging with videos about something you love, football, hopefully you can maintain a high motivation level.
It is hoped that this blog will be particularly useful for people who need to improve their ‘English for Football’, e.g. football players, managers, coaches or officials.
How to use the videos
It is recommended that you watch the videos first without reading the text. This will mean that you practise your listening skills. Your listening skills won’t improve unless you practise listening, i.e. listening and reading at the same time isn’t the same as listening – when real people are speaking to us we can’t read what they are saying at the same time! As learners of a foreign language we often just concentrate on the written word, but a good ‘ear’ for the language is really important: without it, it’s hard to do other things that will improve our language level; like joining in conversations, or watching films.
It is important that you don’t worry about words and phrases you don’t understand when you watch the video for the first time. Instead, concentrate on getting a general understanding of what the person is saying (like we do in real life). To help you to focus on the general understanding there is a question to think about while you watch the video.
After watching a video you can look at the text of the video to check your understanding and to study the grammar and vocabulary, if you want.
Each video has a difficulty level: 1, 2 or 3. Difficulty level 1 is the easiest. You can choose all the videos of a particular level by clicking on the difficult levels in the menu.
The blog contains a lot of videos which feature non-native speakers of English. As English is the world language, most conversations that take place in English in the world every day are between non-native speakers of English. So it is important that we can understand lots of different accents and communication styles. If the speakers in the video say things that would be considered a ‘mistake’ in an English exam then a ‘correct’ version is included in brackets like these afterwards: [ ].
You can also practise your writing by leaving comments related to the video, or ask a question about the vocabulary. The kind of language that we use when leaving comments on internet sites is also helpful for our speaking, because we use words and phrases that are quite informal and are used a lot when we speak.
The videos are deliberately short, so you can do a little bit of English, but often! If you have a smart phone then I recommend subscribing to the Football English RSS or email list (by entering your email address in the box on the main page) , so you can practise your English on the train, bus, underground or while waiting for somebody.
As you know, improving our level in a foreign language is hard work. But I hope you will find that this blog motivates you to integrate English into your daily/weekly routine.
Tom Challenger, Football English.