How To Practise English with The World Cup

It’s here again … the four-yearly tournament which is, perhaps, the greatest and most-watched in the world. It’s football World Cup time! Most of us end up glued to our screens and weekends are spent with family and friends at the pub watching nervously to see who will lift the trophy at the end of the season. I get it, English is low on the list of priorities when it comes to World Cup season but why not try integrating English improvement into your World Cup watching.

Listening Practice

The most obvious thing you could do is turn to an English-speaking commentary. There are numerous British and American English TV channels that are streaming the World Cup online with English commentary. It can be challenging at first, especially with commentators speaking so quickly but if you’re up for the challenge and want to hear how commentators speak, give this a go.

Reading Practice

It may not be possible to watch the matches, in which case you could try reading the live feeds. The BBC has a great live feed of each match providing key information about what’s going on as well as the opinions of football pundits. You can even get involved by commenting or liking the posts. When reading, any key vocabulary that pops up (especially if it’s repeated) may be worth translating.

Speaking Practice

If you feel confident with football vocabulary in English, try commenting yourself. Turn the volume on the match down or completely off and try explaining what is happening on the screen in English. You could describe what the players are doing, what you see in the crowd, your opinion of the match. Anything to integrate your English speaking to the football match.

Alternatively, you could provide a summary. Once a match has finished, you could explain (either to yourself or a family member) what the match was like. Pick out some of the key parts of the match, your highlights, explain who was playing or what the score was. You could also do this in writing if you’d prefer to improve your writing skills in English.

Writing Practice

Keep a journal of the tournament. After each match you’ve watched, keep a record in a football diary. Describe what the match was like and keep updating your prediction about who is going to win the tournament. 

No matter which skill you’d like to improve nor how long you’d like to practise, there’s definitely a way to integrate English into watching a football match


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