Teaching Speaking: Commentating
This lesson focuses on speaking skills and using extreme adjectives. There are language tasks and activities for your students, a focus on pronunciation, a main speaking task and extension activities.
Find the full lesson plan and all the worksheets you need in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this page.
Many learners enjoy roleplay and this lesson gives students a chance to immediately use the language they learn. Students read and listen to a variety of football commentaries and then create their own. The lesson focusses on speaking skills, but learners are also introduced to a wide range of extreme adjectives and they have the opportunity to focus on reading and pronunciation. The lesson is linked to a podcast available on the Premier Skills English website.
A2 / B1 (strong pre-intermediate to intermediate)
Teenagers and adults
45 mins + 45 mins
This lesson is flexible and can be used over two different classes or one 90-minute class. You can also extend or shorten some of the steps depending on the level and needs of your students.
- Picture 1: Setting the scene
- Worksheet 1: Read the commentaries
- Worksheet 2: Detailed reading questions
- Picture Two: Example for final task
You can find all the materials in the download section on the right-hand side of this page.
Show or draw a picture of a microphone on the board. See Picture One – Setting the scene
Ask students who use it and where.
Students discuss if they have ever used a microphone. What for? Where were they? How did they feel?
Ask students where they would see a microphone at a sports event. Introduce the job/word ‘commentator’.
Ask students these questions:
- What does a commentator have to do?
- What qualities are needed to be a good commentator?
- Would you like to be a commentator?
2. Task 1
Tell students that they have been asked to choose a new commentator for an important football match.
3. Reading for general understanding
Give out Worksheet 1 – Reading commentaries and ask students to read the three commentaries. Set a time limit of 30 seconds.
Ask students: Which match was it? Which teams were playing?
Ask students to read the sections aloud to each other. Ask them to discuss which they liked best and give reasons.
4. Reading for more detail
Give out Worksheet 2 – Detailed reading questions. Students answer the comprehension questions.
As an alternative, you could make this more competitive. Make copies of the questions for each team of three or four students and cut them up into slips of paper. Give students one question. They have to write the answer on the slip of paper and return it to you before you give them the next question.
5. Guessing meaning from context
Dictate the following:
Ask students to work in pairs to find extreme adjectives with the same, but stronger meanings, in the commentaries.
Discuss how gradable and extreme adjectives are used. Introduce the adverbs that are used with gradable adjectives (quite, really, very etc.) and extreme adjectives (absolutely, completely, totally etc.).
Shout out adjectives whole class. Students need to respond by saying ‘gradable’ or ‘extreme’. Shout out adverb + adjective chunks e.g. ‘absolutely marvellous’ and students need to shout out ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
Students can then do the same in pairs.
Drill chunks of language whole class. You could start with these:
- That was an absolutely amazing goal.
- That was an absolutely brilliant goal.
- That was an absolutely fantastic goal.
Then, write: That was _________________ shot/goal/game/tackle on the board.
Students practise saying these sentences in pairs.
8. Controlled Practice
Students choose three memorable goals. This could be from the World Cup, the Premier League, a match in their country or a match they have played in.
Alternatively, some students may want to choose a concert they have been to or an exciting scene from a book, film or other story or even something exciting or funny that happened to them in real life.
Tell the students to write three sentences about each moment. For each, they need to include an adverb + extreme adjective phrase.
Feedback: Ask the students to tell each other in pairs or groups about these goals and moments.
9. Task 2: Preparation
Students need to choose one of the moments from the previous activity. They need to imagine that they have been chosen to commentate on this live event.
Give students 15-20 minutes to prepare some commentary in note form on the event. Some or all of the event can be imagined – accuracy is not important They are going to speak in the present and need to include extreme adjectives.
10. Task 2: Delivery
Students present their commentary in groups or to the class as a whole. Students can vote for their favourite or you can give out awards for most realistic commentator, best use of extreme adjectives, best pronunciation, most excited commentator etc.
Alternatives and Extensions
Depending on your teaching context, you could get students to record their commentaries on various formats. They could then listen and adapt before showing a final version in class.
Students could create a poster that includes:
- A drawing of the goal or event
- Speech bubbles of commentary using adverb + extreme adjective phrases.
- Students could vote on their favourite poster.
We hope you enjoy the lesson!