Incorporating Soccer and English in Panama!

What student does not relish in a chance to spend class time outside?  Several students in Panama were able to escape the classroom for an afternoon and spend time in the sun for a fun game of soccer with an English twist. WorldTeach volunteer Katie Barthelow describes how she and her coworkers were able to employ a fun and creative way of practicing English by having an educative soccer game. The students were allowed to spend an afternoon in a friendly game of soccer with extra rules that required students to only cheer and speak in English! Read what Katie has to say about the experience! What creative ways to teach English could you come up with?

My students are doing AWESOME! Some days (and sections of students) are better than others, but all-in-all I'm insanely happy at my job. Some days I do more in class than other; my contribution to class ranges from teaching it entirely to being little more than a pronunciation guide, but I love all of the aspects of how I utilized in the classroom. I am starting to get to know my students better and in more contexts, which has also proven to be really cool. There's a big divide here in Panama between Barcelona and Read Madrid fans. BIG divide, and the students always want to know who I support. I said I dont know enough about soccer yet, but a Panamanian friend of mine calls me Katie Barcelona because he can't pronounce my last name, so maybe them. My co-teacher Juan is 150% Barca, and I have one student in particular who is not pleased with that. After a Barca win, Juan came to class fanning himself with a Barca scarf. Francisco, my die-hard Real Madrid student, decided he was going to draw me a beautiful replica of the Madrid logo. It's awesome and I bring it to every class. When I'm in class during a game, it's taped to the board. Safe to say I'm officially a Madrid fan :)

Last Friday we had a giant English soccer tournament. The students were excused from their classes for the day and chalked the field and then played a huge tournament. The cheerleaders could only cheer in English, and the players could only speak in English. If they said, "Pasame la pelota!" en vez de "Pass me the ball!" they got a "white card" and the other team got the ball. It was awesome! The same student who drew the Madrid sign is a big soccer player himself. He wasn't going to be able to play in the tournament because he was having MCL surgery that day. Friday morning I saw him putting on cleats, and asked him what the heck he was doing! He responded that they postponed the surgery and so he was going to play. Craziness!

 With the cheerleaders for Team Teamwork! 
(All of the teams were named after a value because that was what MEDCUA had us studying that week)

Learn more about the WorldTeach experience in Panama at Worlteach.org or call us at 1 (857)259-6646! Don't pass up this exciting Latin American adventure!

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