Olympics Mania! Resources and ideas for your EFL classes | TEFL Jobs London

Olympics Mania! Resources and ideas for your EFL classes

by Donna Hutchinson
London based TEFL Teacher, @donnatamara

My goodness, gracious me! I have become obsessed with the Olympics. I did not see this coming. I’ve always enjoyed the Olympics, that much is true, but this year, I am hooked! The coverage is everywhere and constant, so much so that I’m pretty certain I’m more tired this week because I’ve stayed up to watch it, whatever sport it might be from basketball to the canoe slalom. I am fascinated by the fact that there are human beings this good at what they do, it’s incredible.

British Council resources

What’s more, my class seems to have caught the Olympics bug too. Each day we watch a short clip of the main story from the day before. The British Council has of course cottoned on to this too providing a PDF of exercises for language learners following the Games.

Olympic class trips

It’s not just about the classroom though. This week I took a group of summer students to Hyde Park to take advantage of the big screens there. It’s free entry and there’s a great atmosphere. Unfortunately, many of the students were put off by the rain. You could certainly see the British “it’s only a spot of rain” spirit shining through when three of the four screens were showing GB action. Wilst many fled the showers, the GB flags held fast. There are other events around London and I think that if you have the opportunity, they are a great place to take students.

To add to this, as if by some sort of sporting serendipity, the unit in the coursebook that we will be starting next week is aptly called Success with a section dedicated just to winners and losers including many Olympic stories. I didn’t even try to time it this way! I’m a winner, clearly.

Games in class

Admittedly, I worry that by next week my students will be getting a little sick of all the Olympics stuff but thus far, it seems to be a topic that just keeps on giving. Today we focused on the 100m sprint and of course, Usain Bolt, and we looked at the other men that could potentially beat him this year. Out of this, I got listening and reading material and then the students wrote a report on ‘Can anyone beat Bolt?’ I must say, I’m very pleased with the outcome and because the 100m final will be on Sunday, by Monday’s lesson we will be free to discuss the real outcome of everything we’d centred on and see who made the correct predictions. I asked them to hypothetically place money on the winner; it seemed to be around 60% for Usain Bolt and 40% for Yohan Blake. Nobody can know but I’m certain it will provide fodder enough for Monday.

Like I said, it just keeps on giving.

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