Past continuous: sporting experiences

More football! Give me more football!

I heard it’s less than a month until the start of the Premier League season. Here’s more football related content for the post-World Cup/pre-PL football hungry students.

I wrote this to support materials on British Council Premier Skills English. It goes along with the content from a recent podcast which focused on using the past continuous.

You can find my basic resource here.

In an ideal world, this would be a listening, not a reading. If only there was another football mad teacher at my centre to help me bring these resources to life… (not so subtle hint to Rich McCully….!).

Topic: Describing sporting experiences

Language: past continuous

Level: B1 ish, but there’s some footie specific terms


Get them chatting, access prior knowledge and all that…

A few gist questions for the reading. Answers in the resource. I wish this was a listening, would be much better. Still, it’s ok… (click to enlarge)

I haven’t done detailed reading questions here. Feel free to add some – I was only using the text as a way to review the grammar (again, it’s in support of this podcast). Still, I guess you could add some for a more comprehensive lesson. Chuck some in the comments if you want, would save me time!

Grammar bit…

The whole controlled bit there… some football terms in it. Give away a pen, etc. Mark over a TESOL Toolbox did a good post on ‘incongruity’ recently. Check out some of the activities in his post there, one could easily be adapted to suit this lesson.

There are some optional discussion questions – only in there to prompt a personal response, may discuss a bit about ‘being a team player’ and stuff…

As a follow up students prepare their own anecdote about a sporting experience. I kept this ‘sporting’ rather than just football – you’d assume that the students were big into footie if you’re doing a lesson focused on it like this one. You never know though, no harm in broadening it.

You can do far more with the resources than I’ve mentioned, it’s a skeleton of a plan really. Things like…

  • ‘Mine the text’ for football related vocab (substituted, one-nil, nil-nil, etc)
  • Reduce the gap fill to simple prompts, like ongoing action/interruption (run/trip) and make it speaking practice
  • Students use the notes about Emma in the speaking section to retell Emma’s story to one another (trying to use the past continuous correctly)
  • Students could mime their sporting experiences before they describe them and have their partner guess the content, then listen and see if they were right
  • Focus on Rich’s reactions to Emma’s story. Make this into a speaking (pronunciation) task. Input a few natural phrases for showing interest and practice making them sound genuine. Learners can use these when listening to others stories
  • Various roleplay things, e.g. ‘ You are Emma’s teammate. You’re visiting her in hospital after the game. Imagine the conversation’ etc.
  • Find articles about Mo Salah’s injuries, follow up reading. Maybe research into Mo Salah for homework
  • Exploit the conditional structure in the final discussion question.

Stuff like that anyway! Enjoy!

Feature image: pixabay

Categories: grammar, Lesson Ideas

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