How to Use Sports to Practice English

Do you like any sports? There are some topics that are very useful for learning and practicing English, and sports is one of them. When traveling in another country, sports is an easy way to start a conversation. Even people in countries who host international sports events find reasons to practice their English!

For some sports vocabulary, read our post on How To Talk about Sports in English.

People in the Ukraine, one of the host countries of the Euro 2012 football tournament, have been realizing the importance of speaking English during the tournament.

Many of the Ukraine’s international visitors have used English to communicate with other football supporters and people in businesses, and to travel around.

An article in Voice of America quoted one Euro 2012 volunteer, Kateryna, who said, “The quantity of people speaking English is increasing with a speed of a sound. I know people who don’t speak English they start attending language schools. Almost everyone now speaks English."

“English language is a must these days," another Euro 2012 volunteer, Tetiana, told Voice of America. "It doesn’t matter in which field you work, you can find it connected with English."

While there are many topics you can use to practice your English, sports is one topic that many people are excited to talk about.

There are many sports around the world, and they all have passionate supporters. With many sports, the vocabulary is similar in different languages.

For example, even the pronunciation of “football” is similar to “futbol” in Spanish, Ukrainian and Polish, “futebol” in Portuguese, and “fotbol” in Czech.

It can be fun to join the locals to watch a popular sports event, and there is always something to discuss! If you are watching sports in a bar or at a sporting event, people are willing to talk about the game, even if your English isn’t very good.

If it is a sport (or a sports team) that you are not familiar with, there are usually people who are happy to explain the game and talk about the teams. Spend time with supporters who speak English and learn new vocabulary.

When you already understand the sport, it is even easier to talk about it with other fans. In many bars in big cities like London, New York and Sydney, it is easy to find supporters of national teams or other well-known teams.

In cities like Manchester and Boston, where sports are very popular, spending time learning about the teams will always give you something to talk about. Manchester United, Manchester City, the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots are all teams with big followings!

If you could see any sport, in any English-speaking city in the world, where would you go? What sport would you watch?