Helping Learners Understand Spoken English

Conversation Topic: Sports

The Excitement was Contagious!

I’m not a big sports fan, but during the football match between Japan and Korea during the 2018 Asian Games football tournament, I could feel the excitement in the air as the city exploded with cheering. Korea had just scored its first goal against Japan in the 2018 Asian Games football tournament. Son Heung-min’s fate was on the line (at risk). I’ve never really been into sports (to be into something = to like or be interested in something). The only other time I was interested in watching a sporting event was in 2006 when I was in Argentina during the FIFA World Cup. Argentina had made it to the quarter-finals (8 teams play to decide which 4 teams will move on to the semi-finals), and the streets of the city were flooded (overfilled) with football fans. It was thrilling to watch the game with such passionate fans!

Related affiliate post: English Vocabulary Words: Sports Locations

High Stakes Sports

The excited cheers coming from my neighbors’ windows reminded me of how it felt to be caught up in (involved in) a major sporting event. I quickly found a live stream of the tail end (the last part of something) of the match. I was excited to catch the last 5 minutes of the game that would determine Son Heung-min’s fate. Would he have to complete his military service and be unable to return to Tottenham Hotspur? Or would he and his teammates win their way to an exemption (freedom from an obligation imposed on others) from their military service? This added incentive (motivation, reason) made the stakes (something you could win or lose) higher and the game more exciting!

Related Youtube video: Son Heung-min off national military duty…

Sports Conversation Questions

Below are 11 questions for discussion. Your goal is not to answer all the questions as quickly as you can. Your goal is to find something to discuss and talk about it at length (in great detail, for a long time, fully). In order to talk at length, you will need to ask multiple follow-up questions to keep the conversation going.

If you are not into sports, choose one of the questions that is not related to sports. You will have more incentive (something that motivates you) to keep talking and you’ll enjoy the conversation more if you can find something that you enjoy talking about. Don’t worry if you get off the topic and start talking about something else. The questions below are just a starting point. Think of your own questions and ask them!

The goal is to practice speaking English, become familiar with the vocabulary from this lesson, express yourself, and listen to your partners’ thoughts and opinions.

Related affiliate post: Idiomatic Expressions From Sports

Questions for Discussion

  1. Are you into sports? + Follow-up questions (Who’s your favorite player?)
  2. What is the role (function) of sports in people’s lives and society?
  3. If you aren’t into sports, what are you into these days?
  4. What other activities bring people together (cause people to be friendly and bond)?
  5. What do you think about the amount of money sports players earn?
  6. If you were a sports player who earned millions of dollars, what would you do with your money?
  7. What do you think about exemptions from compulsory (required by law) military service?
  8. What are some incentives in your own life?
  9. If you could be exempt from something in life, what would it be?
  10. What’s something that you get caught up in?
  11. What is something you can talk about at length?