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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 5; Issue 3; May 03

Lesson outlines

Funny Things Sports Commentators say

secondary and adult

Mario Rinvolucri, Pilgrims, UK

Level: upper intermediate to advanced

In class:

  • tell the students to rule three columns with these three headings:

    meaningful ----- iffy ------ meaningless

  • Tell them you are going to dictate snippets of what sports commentators have actually said in the heat of the moment.
    Ask the students to put each utterance down in one of the three columns.

  • Dictate these sentences, leaving time for the students to think.

We now have exactly the same situation as we had at the start of the race, only exactly the opposite.

Bill Frindal has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator

Hodge scored for Forest after 22 seconds- totally against the run of play

I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father

We actually got the winner three minutes from the end but then they equalised

I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body

Sure, there have been injuries and death in boxing but none of them serious

If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again

The race course is level as a billard ball

I would not say David Ginola is the best left winger in the Premiership, but there are none better.

The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it, which is identical

He dribbles a lot and the opposition don't like it- you can see it all over their faces

  • Group the students in fours to discuss where they have placed the utterances and why.

    Here are some more snippets:

    I never comment on referees and I'm not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat

    Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the Cambridge president is kissing the cox of the Oxford crew

    To play Holland, you have to play the Dutch

    Here we are in the Holy Land of Israel, a Mecca for tourists

    Well, either side could win, or it could be a draw

    Her timeis 4.33, which she is capable of

    I'd like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona

    Strangely, in slow motion replay , the ball seemed to hang in the air even longer

    Interviewer: Have you ever thought of writing your autobiography?
    Boxer: On what?

    What will you do when you leave football? Will you stay in football?

    Acknowledgement: Neil Grant collected these bits and communicated them in October 1999.