Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Do Your Language Learners Go, Do or Play on the Weekends?



English as a Foreign Language Learner Class Profiles

An integral part of my English as a Foreign Language learner class profiles include acknowledgement of their various personal interests. While here in Colombia the variety of available pastimes is somewhat limited in comparison to other countries, a large portion (sometimes TOO large a portion) of the EFL learners’ free time is spent engaged in some type of sports. The question then becomes how to correctly and accurately express participation in different sporting activities. In the (American) English language, for the most part, we use the verbs GO, DO and PLAY for this purpose.

Using the English Verb “GO”

Generally when the name of a sports activity ends with the suffix “-ing”, the verb used to express participation in that sport is “GO”. For example, you can “go”:

• Rock climbing
• Swimming
• Dancing
• Hiking
• Running
• Fishing (author shown with Peacock Bass on Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal)
• Diving (SCUBA, sky or board)
• Skating (ice or roller)
• Bungee jumping
• Skiing (water or snow)
• Hunting

Using the English Verb “DO”

On the other hand, “individual” sports participation is usually expressed using “DO”. For example, you can “do”:

• Judo
• Karate
• Weight lifting (an exception to the rule)
• Gymnastics
• Yoga
• Martial arts
• The pole vault
• The high jump (track and field sports, et al.)

Using the English Verb “PLAY”

Finally, for expressing participation in “team” or cooperative effort sports, the verb most predominantly used is “PLAY”. Form example, we can “play”:

• Baseball
• Basketball
• Soccer
• Hockey (ice and field)
• Lacrosse
• Volleyball
• Golf (an exception to the rule)
• Handball
• American football
• Tennis (another exception to the rule) racquetball
• Jai Lai
• Polo (water and horse)

General Guidelines for English Language Learners

Obviously, this hardly covers all the sports activity possibilities in the English language, but it does provide a very general guideline which can often prove to be useful to English as a foreign language learners wherever they may be. So I certainly hope it helps your language learners as much as it does mine.


Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


1 comment:

Ivo Serentha and Friends said...

Greetings from Italy,good luck

Hello,Marlow