English-learning sports students: Is there a catch?

Steve Jugovic

Recently in Japan the considerable proliferation in sport and subsequent emergence of additional university sport departments have created English classes consisting of essentially sport students, which are sometimes regarded as problematic. Teachers operating under various constraints face particular difficulties, such as adhering to a content-specific syllabus and managing large class sizes with disengaged and inattentive students. As part of ongoing classroom research using questionnaires, observations and direct feedback spanning several years at a Japanese sport college, a variety of methods, approaches and activities have proven to be successful. The present study identifies the basis of these learning tasks as stemming from applicable intelligence theories such as Multiple Intelligence theory and Triarchic theory, research concerning learning with movement, motivation, emotion, and learning styles. This paper will conclude with brief curriculum suggestions and a selection of compatible language learning activities that engage the student’s natural disposition of movement and incorporate creativity.