Source: Commons Wikimedia Org

Source: Commons Wikimedia Org

World Cup fever has started with people around the world cheering on their home teams. It always amuses me how fanatical and excited even people who don’t normally watch football get.

In my house I have to support two teams (which is good because my native Australia never gets very far) and even though my three-year-old son is English, if you ask him where he’s from he’ll say that he’s Italian just like his papà!

While watching the World Cup, I’ve been thinking about the English words and phrases used, and I’ve also been thinking about how learning English is like football.

How is learning English like football? Well, first of all, they both take a lot of practice to be good; no matter how much natural talent you have, you still need to train and improve your skills to be successful.

Both also need support from a team. Even the world’s best footballer won’t get very far in winning the World Cup without the help of a good team around him. And without friends, family, classmates and teachers around you, supporting you and giving you the chance to practice, it’s very difficult to improve your English skills.

Lastly, learning English, just like football, has it’s fair share of frustrations and disappointments. There will be times when you’ll feel like you’re not making any progress or when others are doing much better. Neither football or learning English is easy, but you have to learn from your mistakes and push through. Achieving your goal, whether it’s lifting the World Cup aloft or communicating fluently in English, will make all the disappointments worthwhile!

While you’re cheering on your team, learn some more English vocabulary. Do you know the meaning of the football-related words and phrases below? Check your answers on the BBC Learning English website where they have a fabulous extensive list of vocabulary.

own goal
a nutmeg
switch play

And one that even native speakers of English have trouble explaining: offside!

Check your answers and learn more football-related vocabulary here.

Who are you supporting in the World Cup?