Wednesday 27 March 2013

Learning Method: Learning English From Sport Blogs and News

Jeremy Lin (left) and Kevin McHale (right)
Image from Houston Rockets/Facebook

I have always talked about the importance of reading, especially in helping us learn new words, expressions and idioms. With that said, Hongkong English learners are often reluctant to read anything related to sports, unless they are real sport fans of course. Some say they are not interested in sports, other doubt the usefulness of reading sport news; however, this is not a good mindset and I hope that I can break you free from it.

As starters, we can simply read the titles of the sport news to learn words.

The first article titled Jeremy Lin shackling hurts the Rockets: Almost treated with Tim Tebow disdain already gives us 2 words to learn. From the vocabulary section below we can tell that the actual meaning of the title is "Preventing Jeremy Lin from playing is hurting the Rockets (basketball team) and he is being treated with the type of disrespect that Tim Tebow has suffered".

Sergio Aguero, shown celebrating after scoring for Atletico Madrid against
Real Madrid in 2011, could be returning to the Spanish capital - in a white shirt
Image from Dani Pozo/Getty Images, caption from ESPN
In the second news, Real Madrid eye move for neighbour's ex, the word "eye" is a verb, not a noun, meaning "interest in"; a "move" means "signing a player", and "neighbour's ex" refers to the ex-player of Athletico Madrid which is Madrid's other big club.

Combining all that information, the title means Real Madrid is interested in signing an ex-player of Athletic Madrid.

As you can see, even if you are not planning to go deep into the story, there is already quite a bit you can pick out and learn.

Then of course, reading the articles definitely benefits us much more!

Image from Houston Culturemap
"languish" means to leave Jeremy Lin is left on the bench and seldom get to play.
Image from Houston Culturemap
"lack of touches" means lack of match practice. A "novelty act" is an artistic performer.

Image from  ESPN
"be under a cloud" refers to the fact that Balotelli has lost popularity at Inter Milan, especially after he has thrown the club's jersey to the ground.

And there are many many more, so you see, you don't have to be a fan to find a good reason to read sports news.

break sth/ sb free from sth -- to force something to detach from something; to get something out of the hold of something else
shackle --  (vb)[I] If you are shackled by something, it prevents you from doing what you want to do:
disdain -- (n)[U] formal the feeling of not liking someone or something and thinking that they do not deserve your interest or respect:
eye -- (vb)[T] (present tense eyeing or eyingpast tense and past participle eyed) to look at someone or something with interest:
languish -- (vb)[I] to exist in an unpleasant or unwanted situation, often for a long time:
novelty act -- (n)[C] A artistic performer with an act that is strongly linked to some particular gimmick that makes it stand out from the crowd, even though it has little intrinsic value, and is therefore likely to wear out its audience quickly
be under a cloud -- to not be trusted or popular because people think you have done something bad:

Jeremy Lin shackling hurts the Rockets: Almost treated with Tim Tebow disdain @ Houston Culturemap

Real Madrid eye move for neighbour's ex @ ESPN

Balotelli: Italy increased my popularity @ ESPN