Transforming teaching and learning for the 21st Century

Bringing real life into the classroom

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This will be a short but sweet one, but oh so very sweet!

If anyone isn’t aware, last night Liverpool FC left us all at a loss for words and wondering what the heck had just happened?

Liverpool faced a monumental task going into the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, having lost to Barcelona 3-0 in the first leg at the Camp Nou.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, star players got injured and it seemed like it had been good while it lasted…

However, while many were busy writing them off, some never lost hope (least of all the players and the manager) and Liverpool ended up beating Barcelona 4-0!  An incredible example of resolve, strength and belief; the shirts said it all “Don’t give up!” It’s hard for anyone not to admire what Liverpool managed to do last night (even a Barcelona fan!)

So off I toddled to class today ready to wind a few students up (who incidentally had been winding me up all week…) What I hadn’t considered was the potential that this surprising news had for learning opportunities (until they hit me in the face that is.)

Some of my students had noticed the words “Don’t Give Up” on the shirts.  A conversation ensued about what “Don’t give up” means, the difficult task Liverpool faced and how they managed to overcome the obstacles.  We talked about the qualities the team and the manager showed to turn things around and what the manager might have said to encourage his players to achieve their goals (pardon the pun!) and how we could apply this to our own lives, in particular related to learning.  We thought about situations we had found ourselves in and tasks/activities that had seemed insurmountable at the time and how we had dealt with that and how we might have tackled it another, maybe better, way.  An improvised class in the benefits of a growth mindset 😉

However it didn’t end there… All the stars were definitely aligned today I realised when I checked my lesson plan and found the learning outcome for a different class was describing things using exclamatives!  

Out the window went the textbook examples. Who’s going to remember “What delicious waffles” over “What an unbelievable match!”  “What an incredible score!” “What fantastic players” “What an amazing night”  The only danger was excluding the non football fans, but no, what great joy they had winding up their classmates! “What a terrible performance” “What a disastrous result” “What a nightmare!” …

And finally, the lesson I learned (or remembered) is, making learning relevant makes learning better.  Bringing the real world into the classroom and providing real life examples not only helps understanding and makes learning more memorable but also increases engagement and motivation.  Don’t miss those valuable opportunities for learning!

Thank you Liverpool FC (and well done!)


Featured image by Gert Altmann Pixabay



Author: lisajwood

I am an English language coach and Neurolanguage Coach® I current teach adolescents and adults. My areas of interest include brain-friendly learning, flipped learning, student-centred learning and promoting lifelong learning skills. I am also a keen advocate of using new technologies to facilitate the learning process.

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