Why The Verb To Be of Football is the Link to Learning

Why I Wrote The Verb To Be of Football

The Verb To Be of Football was conceived in 2014 after I had taken on a new English student. The person in question was a twenty-three year old student of architecture who had to reach B2 level in English in order to get his degree.

From the outstart, I realised that he resented learning English. As time went by he told me his story, which is the following.

From a very young age, my student was forced to learn English. After a long day sitting at a desk, the first person he encountered in his bedroom was his private tutor! According to him, the only thing they did was to go over the boring exercises he had studied that day at school. So, while all his friends were playing football, which was what he liked most in the world, my student sat in his bedroom with his tutor, bored to tears repeating irregular verbs.

As a result of this conversation, I set out to look for books on teaching Englishthrough football. To my surprise, there were none and so The Verb To Be of Football was born, which I used with my student, and his story fianlly had a happy ending.

About The Book

The Verb To Be of Football is a unique English language learning book. It is narrative based with football as the conducting thread. Through our characters, Pepe, Paco, Primrose and Mr Macmoni, we learn about their trials and problems of work and of course football! The story is set in Spain in a remote village, and in Madrid, the capital. Yet, the characters and places could be anywhere in the world as everywhere people love and talk about football!

The book has twenty units, each one divided in the following way:

  • grammar
  • text introducing a comedy situation
  • comprehension questions
  • dialogue
  • grammar exercises.
  • articles, on culture and history related to football
  • lists of irregular verbs, football vocabulary, football idioms, phrases for travelling fans
  • key to the exercises.

About The Blog – www.theverbtobeoffootball.com

The blog, provides

  • dynamic digital backup to the book
  • explanatory videos on the grammar
  • audios
  • grammar activities
  • graded articles on football
  • cross-curriculur subjects
  • true stories related to the places where the story is set.

This last section, is particularly important to language learning as it brings life to the subject and maintains the learner’s interest.

Football is Communication. Football is Passion. Football is the Link to Learning

The element of passion is essential when learning English and is reflected very much so in The Verb To Be of Football. Philip Kerr, the famous Scottish writer, makes two very important points in his novel The False Nine; Football has become the new Esperanto, a new modern lingua franca in the strictest sense of the word. It is a bridge language, a commercial language that facilitates the exchange of culture all around the world.

These two points confirm and reflect the objectives of my book and my blog. Through this sport, our learners can not only improve their English skills, but they can also enrichen their knowledge on subjects, such as history, geography and politics to mention but a few.

My project is to foster and promote cultural exchange through football and to make people aware of the learning possibilities that this sport offers. I wish to invite you to take part in this very active way of teaching English and at the same time aiding with broadening people’s conceptions and understanding of other cultures, which we know is key to communication, peace and prosperity in this twenty-first century.

About the Writer

Belfast born Anna Maria Speight studied theatre in education in Cardiff before moving to Spain where she commenced her English language teaching career. She has gained ample experience right across the board by teaching in the British Institute for Young Learners, the British Institute for Adults, corporate classes in prestigious companies such as Ernst & Young and the BBVA and private tutoring. She is also a qualified Cambridge University examiner and combines her work with singing, acting and writing.