A key part of the Sport and Translation project involved us taking University of Bristol research into local schools and working with primary school children.
By Jenna Abaakouk, Sport and Translation Intern, and undergraduate student of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Bristol
As part of the Sport and Translation project, we visited various primary schools in the Bristol area and set up workshops, which gave the children the opportunity to find out more about football (something that many of them had an interest in) and to familiarise them with Brazil and its culture. These activities took place in May during the build up to the FIFA World Cup. It was amazing how open the pupils were to learning about Brazilian culture, language and history from us!
We worked with pupils in Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5, and we are very grateful to the teachers who let us into their classes, and to the pupils who were so creative and enthusiastic! According to age of the pupils we varied the activities, but this is generally what we did:
We began by introducing ourselves and displaying a photo of the Brazilian national football team, which sparked a lot of excitement as they began enthusiastically naming them one by one. We also showed them various videos related to Brazilian football, such as the iconic 1998 Nike advert, and the incredible goal scored by female Brazilian football player Marta Vieira da Silva against the United States. The children were then split into four groups, and we gave each group the task to design their own football, football kit, trophy and 2014 World Cup poster. The children really impressed us with their creativity, as they included in their designs the Brazilian national colours, the flag, and one group even drew a colourful carnival crowd, whilst another designed their trophy with an Amazonian theme, with various animal skins drawn on.
A crucial part of the activities was that we gave the children the opportunity to learn some Portuguese, and to see the interconnections between English and Portuguese, especially with regard to football vocabulary. We began by teaching them phrases such as ‘My name is,’ and ‘My favourite football team is.’ Most of the children grasped the language aspect extremely well, which was evident in how quickly they matched up various football related items to their Portuguese name. They used their logic to work out what they did not know; for example, one child said “’Estadio’ sounds a bit like ‘stadium’ so I think we should put them together!” We were all very impressed with the way in which they all got engaged in the workshop. Not only was it a great opportunity for us to work with such enthusiastic and bright children, but they also were happy to learn about a culture so different to our own, and to learn more about the country they have heard so much about in recent times.
Jenna Abaakouk, Sport and Translation Intern, University of Bristol