Blog_BrazilUnless you have been living on the planet Zorg for the last few months, you can’t have failed to notice that the 2014 World Cup (also known as Brazil 2014) is almost upon us. In fact as I write this post, we are just a week away from the start on 12 June.

We’ve already had a few friendly matches. England beat Peru last Friday 3-0 (nil) and as I write this, England are playing Ecuador in another friendly. The score is 2-1 to England at the moment (we are in the 67th minute).**

Are you impressed by my knowledge? I know, I am super impressed, too. I would like to point out that I know practically NOTHING about football. I can just about understand the scoring system, what a penalty shoot out is and what the goalkeeper is supposed to do. No matter how many times my husband has tried to explain the offside rule to me, I cannot seem to grasp them. Life’s just too short…..

For those of you who really want to have some football vocabulary in English, here’s a useful infographic designed by Kaplan International.

So as the world gradually builds itself into a frenzy and focuses its attention on Brazil, I shall have to find other ways to amuse myself or follow the crowd. When England plays all the pubs will be jam-packed full of people glued to the large screens, drinking copious amounts of beer, swearing at the screens and shouting out their expert advice on how the game should be played.

Whilst the pubs will be heaving with people, the streets will be eerily quiet as will the shops and supermarkets. That will be the ideal time for me to catch up on some “me time” and get some good retail therapy done. That’s of course if the matches are being played during the day.

For the evening matches, I am hoping that my husband goes to the pub with his friends or goes round to his parents or siblings and watches the game there. That way I will have sole command of the remote control! Imagine what I could do with such power!!

My real dilemma will come if England and Italy reach the important stages like the quarter or semi finals or,wonder of wonders, even the finals. At that stage I will really need to think hard about where my loyalties lie – England or Italy. I think it’ll be easier to simply toss a coin.

Are any of you like me? I call myself a football widow. What will you be doing to survive the World Cup?

If you’re football mad and think that learning English through the ‘beautiful game’ would be the best thing ever, take a look at these resources:

Languagecaster – This wonderful site is managed by two English Language Teachers who are staunch football supporters. Their lessons are delivered through podcasts where they introduce football cliches, expressions, football quizzes and World Cup vocabulary.

Premier Skills English – Brought to you by the British Council and Barclays Premier League.  You can play vocabulary games and practise your reading with stories on and off the pitch. You can also watch videos with exercises and do listening activities and grammar exercises.

And if you are feeling competitive in the run up to the World Cup, you might just want to read this blog post by my fellow trainers, Real Life English who live and work in Brazil. The post will give you some vital expressions related to competitiveness.

However, don’t think that football is only about competition and rivalry. It is also a fantastic way of bringing language learners together as seen in a friendly football competition that was organised by Kaplan International recently at West Ham United’s stadium. In total 150 students from 25 nationalities took part in the event. You can see highlights of the event here.

Well, that’s it folks. I hope you enjoy the 2014 World Cup and may the best team win!

Ciao for now


** Since writing this last sentence, I’ve heard that England drew with Ecuador (2-2). England is going to have to do better than that!

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