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Views, news and features about the Goulburn Valley. Showcasing a variety of local writers and their views.

It's Just Cricket!

It's Just Cricket!

Cricket is the national sport of Australia, and I am a cricket nut. I've loved the game since I was boy, and with each passing year I love it more and more. So, it seems only right to me that I should introduce this game, which in truth is so much more than just a game, to my students regardless of whether they are interested or not.

Most of my adult migrant students know nothing at all about cricket, but as I explained to them, cricket is a part of Australian culture. Even those who (gasp) don't like it, still know about it and understand its significance.

I developed a five week unit of study on cricket which culminates with a trip to the local park to actually play a game. I do this with my students every year in November as the international cricket season begins here.

On the final day, game day, I had eight ladies from Iraq, Cook Islands, Vietnam, Serbia and China. After some warm up drills we ripped right into a test match battle of Ashes like proportions, and it was a lot of fun. Not a great deal of skill was on display, but there was plenty of enthusiastic participation, and lots of laughter.
All through the summer, these poor new arrivals have to endure me going on about the cricket: giving them score updates, match results and reminding them to watch some cricket on the box. The latter injunction is invariably followed by an explanation of what ‘the box’ is. Some do watch a little, most don’t, either because they don’t like sport, or because it’s simply too foreign.
One thing that learners of English or any foreign language often don’t realize is how language and culture are inextricably linked. My insistence on teaching migrants about cricket is one way to raise awareness of this important connection. However, I must admit to also teaching it because I love it.

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