Life at Kaplan: Communicating Through Football

Our contributor, Jordan Holmes, is the events organizer at our Kaplan school in Manchester

When it comes to making friends and sharing great experiences, many students arrive at Kaplan facing the same 2 barriers – communication and a difference in cultures.

While every student has the common goal of improving their English, finding common interests outside of the classroom isn’t always so easy!

Since starting my role as Social Program Manager at Kaplan Manchester 9 months ago, it’s become clear to me that one thing can unite the whole student body of the school – FOOTBALL.

football in manchester
Students at Kaplan Manchester practicing!

Football is played by millions in countries across the globe and watched by even more. It transcends not only language barriers but also those cultural differences too.

It doesn’t matter what rules you follow in your own country, how many players you have or what the weather is like, as long as there is a ball and the enthusiasm to play then it’s one of the most enjoyable activities around.

Here in Manchester we take our football very seriously! Being home to the most famous team in the world, we naturally attract a lot of students who are passionate about football and many even fancy themselves as the next Wayne Rooney.

Every Friday we arrange football for the students and before I can blink the signup sheet to play is full of names from Latin America to the Middle East!

When it comes to the games, students tend want to be on the same team as people from their own country or those that share the same first language. This can be fun as it gives them a feel like they are representing their own country in the World Cup that is Kaplan Manchester football!

Sometimes I will switch it up and mix the nationalities. I do this to encourage interaction between the students. You find that those students from Japan and Venezuela who previously had no conversation suddenly have an understanding!

It’s amazing how despite the barriers previously mentioned that a student can express his delight towards a team mate for scoring a great goal or sometimes his anger for not getting the correct pass!

Being a qualified football coach, I have done some coaching with our students here in Manchester and the response was great. The students' appetite to learn and improve their football skills matched that of their dedication in the classroom, which was pleasing to see.

We were victorious in our last game against another language school in Manchester and hope to play many more games in the summer of 2013. I know Kaplan Cambridge has a team so we are looking forward to battling it out with them in the near future to see who can be king of football at Kaplan!


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