In an increasingly cosmopolitan world, speaking English has become a necessity. For children it is of the utmost importance, not only for their own future but also for their relationship with the rest of the world. And as adults, learning a new language or improving an existing one is challenging and something to invest time and energy into. Learning English can be done in a fun way... How? Through winter sports. In these sports, in addition to practicing the activity itself, language skills are increased at the same time. We are going to discover together which are the best winter sports to practice with family or friends while enjoying nature and learning English.
It is also important to remember that there is no age to start learning this language, but rather it depends on the care and interest that one has in acquiring it. From babies to school-age children to young adults and even seniors, they can start out wanting to broaden their horizons with this wonderful and timeless language.
But how can English learning be improved? A great way to do this is by practicing winter sports. These types of sports activities are a great way to exercise, spend time with friends, and at the same time counteract the environmental frustration caused by cold weather. So why not bring them together to take them to the next level by using English for their communication?
How to learn English practicing winter sports
It is inevitable to mention the king of winter sports: Skiing. This outdoor activity is one of the most complete to learn English and the most fun. There are different categories such as freeride, cross country, slalom and other styles that lead us to understand simple phrases related to the mountain in English. Although you can enjoy this activity in places from Finland to Austria or Canada, a destination that we recommend is the French Alps, ideal for learning English en famille, since we can also enjoy impressive landscapes in addition to learning languages.
Ireland is also an ideal country for many winter sports activities, from alpine skiing to ice skating. Alpine Skiing is a popular water sport that requires agility and balance along with quick reflexes in the drastic changes made during the race. The key to any success in this sport is to focus on the present moment, be aware of changes in the terrain ahead, and communicate with other skiers without having to rely on physical strength to get your message across. And all this can be done using only English. If you are going to stay with an Ireland homestay, we recommend that you ask them for advice about the best places to practice these sports, since one of them is in Dublin, so if you travel there surely your hosting family Dublin can advise you about these places.
Another classic to practice in the snow is Snowboarding with all its disciplines: Carver, Freestyle, Slopestyle or Snowboard Cross among others make this practice fun and a contribution to the development of a specific vocabulary. These sports can be practiced in most traditional ski resorts.
We also have the Sled or Sledge that allows us to descend from the mountain with a sled on the first 10 or 15 centimeters of snow and enjoy the landscape completely submerged in the snow without having to learn complex words in English. Many stations also offer the appropriate material to do so.
Ice hockey will not only allow you to practice this sport with skates on the cold ground, but you will also learn commonly used phrases related to this sport such as “ice rink”, “stick”, etc. Many cities offer ice rinks where you can meet up with friends while practicing your level of English.
Even in the snow we can go to the gym or do outdoor aerobic activities. How? With Nordic Walking combined with cross country skiing; that is, walking up the mountain with poles for planned training plans and having fun learning words that we will need to explain our sporting activity.
There are also more relaxed sports such as Tobogganing, which basically consists of sliding from one point to another using a sled. These tracks usually have curves and also ascend to a considerable degree of height depending on the place, which will help us a lot to remember key words such as curves, descents, and ramps, among others.
If you want to slide even more in the snow, try the Skeleton. Gently descending a slope prepared for this in a one-person sled you will reach incredible speeds in an almost unstoppable way from phrases in English such as “piston”, “start gate” or “finish run” among others.
Another option that we find is Bobsled, an extreme sport that combines speed with the safety of sliding on molds prepared to support the weight of the vehicle without unnecessary slipping. They also help to understand phrases associated with it, such as "The team with the fastest time on each run wins the competition!"
For those who love animals, there are horse-drawn carriage rides and sleighs pulled by husky dogs that allow us to glide over the cold white of the mountain and learn to decipher their particular vocabulary.
Other less risky sports
Finally, for the most romantic or those who prefer a less risky sport, you can find routes prepared for a ride on snowshoes or snowshoes so that we can contemplate together with our family beautiful snowy postcards while we learn common words related to this sport: "boot" , “poles”, “boots” among other terms. Once again we recommend that you express to your homestay Ireland the desire to do one of these sports in order to prepare it in advance.
Learning English can be much more fun if we see it as something that complements our fun while practicing winter sports. We are sure that using these 10 activities, your family and friends will enjoy the time in the snow better than expected. If you have chosen any of them, do not forget that positive energy and a good attitude are key to accompany any learning process in the English language.
So now you know: Invite all your friends, get ready to have the most fun and get the best out of winter while learning a new language. Have fun!! (Have fun)