I use sports as a vehicle to grab and keep students interest in class. I believe that a huge part of language acquisition for the purpose of multicultural communication, academic and professional development, is the ability to tell your story. Sports are a part of many student’s personal narrative. Anyone who has taught in China for any amount of time knows how popular basketball is among adolescent boys and young adults alike. I use basketball as a backdrop and tailor the lesson plan to the type of student that I will be teaching.
For example if it is a business man that travels to the States for his job or for pleasure, we will take a virtual trip to different arenas and discuss the teams, the city and local tourist attractions.
If it’s a IELTS or TOEF student, I will develop that a layered lesson that goes from likes and dislikes to analyzing and comparing player’s individual personalities, work ethics, and even the differences between players from different eras, and countries.