English Language Learning & Dodgeball

At my campus, co-ed intramural sports are popular and offered through Student Life. Basketball, baseball and soccer are part of these activities but there is one sport that is particularly foreign to our ELL students and that sport is dodgeball.

While Student Life has tried to explain the sport and even offer the movie Dodgeball as a movie night, Dodgeball has not been popular activity with our ELL students.

Student Life assumed by showing the video (using a technology medium to demonstrate the sport and culture) would be an effective way of establishing declarative knowledge with the ELL students. I have been asked by one of our ELL instructors to develop an activity that would help the ELL students understand the sport and promote it. As a marketing instructor, this sounds like a situation where a certain demographic is aware of the product but does not understand the product. You can take a look at the trailer to have some understanding on the complexity of the movie when it comes to American popular culture, parody, hyperbole and idiomatic expressions.

Edyburn in (Roblyer, 2016) suggests that multilingual processing may be an obstacle in the classroom and I would extend that to Student Life’s attempt to use technology in the form of the movie. ELL students may need more time to process, look up words or may even need to have something like an outline to help them understand not only the vocabulary but also the culture.

Based on this week’s resources, I found the English Learner Movie Guide. It does not cover a long list of movies but the format is useful. It has movie guide that pulls out American popular culture, idioms and slang.

Another resource that is useful is English Idioms & Idomatic Expressions. It is a dictionary of over 3,835 expressions.

To overcome one of the obstacles in content marketing, I’m developing a lesson plan that has the ELL students making a movie guide which will also include references for dodgeball. Our next campus dodgeball tournament is on April 26 so we might not be ready for that one, but we should have a guide for ELL student ready for Fall 2016.


ESLnotes.com (n.d.) The English Learner Movie Guide. Retrieved from http://www.eslnotes.com/

Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology Into Technology (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

UsingEnglish.com (n.d.) English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions. Retrieved from http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/


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