Країнознавство США ІІ семестр - Плани-конспекти уроків - Ю. Г. Горбунова 2016

Дидактичні матеріали до спецкурсу «Країнознавство США». Плани-конспекти уроків
Practical training «Sport in the USA»

Aims and objectives:

- to practise grammar;

- to develop skills in reading, listening and speaking;

- to teach students how to analyze and generalize the materiel;

- to expand students' knowledge about sports in the USA.



Greeting. Introducing the topic

T. Good morning! Today we’re going to work on the topic «Sport in the USA».

Warm up

Task 1. Answer the questions.

1. What is the role of sport in people’s life?

2. What is the reason of the wide and varied interest of Americans in sports?

3. What kinds of sports are considered to be the most popular with Americans and why?

4. What sports do you consider to be typically American? Why?

5. What is the difference between American football and European football (soccer)?


Listening and speaking

Task 2. Listen to the text.


A sports-loving nation

Americans pay much attention to physical fitness. Many sports and sporting activities are popular in the USA. People participate in swimming, skating, squash and badminton, tennis, marathons, track- and-field, bowing, archery, skiing, skating etc. But the five major American sports are hockey, volleyball, baseball, football and basketball. There is a large choice of sports in America. This can be explained by the size and variety of the country. Another reason of the popularity of sports is the people’s love of competition of any kind. One more reason is that Americans use sports activities for teaching socials values, such as teamwork and sportsmanship. All this explains why Americans have traditionally done well in many kinds of sports.

The immense popularity of sports in America is indicated by the number of pages and headlines the average daily newspaper devotes to local and national sports. The emphasis on sports is evident in local evening news telecasts. Television has made sports available to all. For those who cannot afford tickets or travel to expensive play-offs like baseball’s World Series or football’s final Superbowl, a flick of the television dial provides close-up viewing that beats front row seats.

Violence and sports

Although many spectator sports, particularly pro football, ice hockey, and boxing, are aggressive and sometimes bloody, American spectators are notably less violent than are sports crowds in other countries. Fighting, bottle throwing, and rioting, common elsewhere, are not the rule among American fans. Baseball and football games are family affairs, and cheerleaders command the remarkably nonviolent crowd to root in chorus for their teams.

Commercial aspects

For many people, sports are big business. The major television networks contract with professional sports leagues for the rights to broadcast their games. The guaranteed mass viewing of major sports events means advertisers will pay networks a lot of money to sponsor the program with announcements for their products. Advertisers for beer, cars, and men’s products are glad of the opportunity to push their goods to the predominantly male audience of the big professional sports. Commercial businesses enjoy the publicity which brings in sales. The networks are glad to fill up program hours and attract audiences who might perhaps become regular viewers of other programs produced by those networks, and the major sports leagues enjoy the millions of dollars the networks pay for the broad-casting rights contracts. Many sports get half of their revenues from the networks.

Professional sports

The commercial aspects of American professional sports can make or break an athlete’s career. Young, talented athletes make it to the top because they are exceptionally talented, but not in every case because they are the best. In women’s tennis, for example, an aspiring young tennis star must not only possess a winning serve and backhand, she must also get corporate agents on her side. Without agents who line up sponsors and publicity, a player has a very difficult time moving from amateur to professional sports. To get the endorsement of corporate advertising sponsors, a talented young tennis player has a much better chance for success if she is also attractive. Sales-conscious tennis sportswear companies pay large sums of money to tennis pros who promote their products. Many top players earn more money a year in product-endorsement fees than in prize money. Competition and success in sports, then, is not only a matter of game skill, but marketability as well.


Increasing commercialization of college sports is part of a larger trend. American sports are becoming more competitive and more profit-oriented. As a result, playing to win is emphasized more than playing for fun. This is true from the professional level all the way down to the level of children’s «Little League sports» teams, where young players are encouraged by such slogans as «A quitter never wins; a winner never quits», and «never be willing to be second best». The obsession with winning causes some people to wonder whether sports in America should be such serious business.

Task 3. Complete the sentences.

1. The five major American sports are ... .

2. The immense popularity of sports in America is indicated by ... .

3. Fighting, bottle throwing, and rioting, common elsewhere, are not ... .

4. The major television networks contract with professional sports leagues for ... .

5. Many sports get half of their revenues ... .

6. An aspiring young tennis star must not only possess a winning serve and backhand, she must also ... .

7. Many top players earn more money a year ... .

8. American sports are becoming more ... .

Task 4. Answer the questions.

1. Why are Americans considered to be a sport-loving nation?

2. What are the reasons of the popularity of sports in the USA?

3. What is the role of mass media in the popularization of sports?

4. Why are Americans considered to be less violent than are sports crowds in other countries?

5. For many people, sports are big business. Why?

6. Is it easy to make an athlete’s career?

7. Why is playing to win emphasized more than playing for fun?

Reading and grammar

Task 5. Read and complete the text with the words from the box.

Superbowl; strategic; games; attract; televised; gathered; tickets; «tailgate party»; college; consists of; spectator; brokers; football schools; «ticket scalpers»


American football is the most popular ... sport in the United States. It is a combat game where highly trained athletes skillfully and brutally execute ... plans. Attending a football game often begins with a ... in the parking lot of the stadium followed by several hours of rowdy, emotionally charged excitement. Most fans watch football while ... in a local bar or at a friend’s home in front of a big-screen TV.

The National Football League (NFL) ... 32 professional teams located in major cities across the USA. Each team plays 16 ... between early September and the end of December. The two best teams meet at the ... near the end of January. Games are on Sunday afternoons with a few nationally ... games on Monday nights. It is difficult to get ... for any NFL games as they are generally «sold out» before the season begins. You can sometimes obtain tickets through travel agents and ticket . at premium prices. You can almost always buy tickets, for a high price, from illegal ... in front of the stadium just before a game.

At hundreds of universities across the USA, they play ... football games on Saturday afternoons. Games at the «football schools» with outstanding teams often ... over 100,000 fans. It is difficult to obtain tickets to games at the best ... but easy to get tickets at the less popular college games.

Task 6. Read the text and put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.


Baseball ... (to be) the second most popular sport in the USA and it ... (to have) a completely different atmosphere than football. It ... (to be) a game of intense concentration and the near perfect execution of playing skill. Attending a baseball game might ... (to start) with a tailgate party that ... (to resemble) a family picnic followed by several hours of relaxed socializing with friends while watching the game.

There (to be) 30 Major League baseball teams divided into the National League and the American League. Each team ... (to play) about 160 games on weekday evenings or weekend afternoons between early spring and late fall. The best teams from each league (to meet) in late fall for the World Series games ... (to determine) the National Champion. Only the most popular games ... (to sell out), so you can normally ... (to buy) tickets to most Major League games.

Several hundred minor league baseball teams ... (to play) in smaller cities across the USA and Canada. Each team ... (to affiliate) with one of the Major League teams and ... (to use) as a training ground for future Major League players. Tickets ... (to be) almost always available for minor league games.

Task 7. Read and complete the text with prepositions.


Basketball combines the fast-paced excitement ... football ... the concentration and athletic prowess ... baseball. Basketball game can be intensely exciting but are usually less rowdy than football games.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) contains 29 teams ... major Canadian and US cities. They play ... 100 games ... evenings and a few afternoons ... October and May. The championship games are ... June. NBA games ... many cities are sold out well in advance, so it may be difficult to obtain tickets. There are ten Women’s National Basketball Association teams (WNBA) ... the US. Their games are not as popular as the NBA games but are just as exciting, and you can easily obtain tickets.

Hundreds ... universities ... the USA play college basketball. ... the «basketball schools» ... excellent teams ticket might be hard to find.

Task 8. Fill in the articles where necessary.


... hockey is not as popular as ... football, ... baseball or ... basketball, but it has … loyal following of ... fans in ... certain cities of ... USA and ... Canada. ... game has ... fast paced excitement of ... football and ... basketball with ... plenty of ... violent body contact. ... hockey games have ... reputation for ... attracting ... loud, beer-drinking, rowdy fans.

... National Hockey League (NHL) has 30 teams in ... major cities across ... USA and ... Canada. Each team plays about 80 games between ... October and ... April. ... playoff elimination games are held after ... season and ... two top teams play in ... «Stanley Cup» championship. ... tickets are available for ... hockey games in most cities as only ... most popular games are sold out.

Task 9. Find 10 grammar mistakes in the text.


Stock car racing were once popular primarily with the rural population in the small towns of Southeastern USA. Today, a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is one of fastest growing spectator sports across the USA. About 35 major NASCAR races are hold each year plus about 60 minor or specialty races. Tickets are usually available at most NASCAR racetracks as they have large seating capacitis. The racing season begins in February in the southern states and extend through the end of August. Annual championships are awarded based on points accumulating throughout the season.

Minor league stock car racing are still held at numerous smaller tracks across the country where local racecars and drivers compete for regional championships. Drag racing meets are held at numerous «drag strips» across the US. Truck pulls, tractor pulls, big wheel exhibitions and demolition derbies hold at various racetracks and stadiums around USA.

Reading and speaking

Task 10. Read and say what sport fact is the funniest in your opinion and why.

✵ Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.

✵ The first baseball caps were made of straw.

✵ The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache on a standard playing card.

✵ No high jumper has ever been able to stay off the ground for more than one second.

✵ It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.

✵ Left-handed people are better at sports that require good spatial judgment and fast reaction, compared to right-handed individuals.

✵ The first puck ever used in a game was a frozen piece of cow crap.

✵ Ari Petrof is Sweden’s National Sauna Champion. He stayed in a 212 degrees F (100 degrees C) sauna for five hours and 10 minutes.

✵ In ancient Rome, when men played the Olympics, they would compete in the total nude!

✵ Where does the word «soccer» come from? In the 1880s students of Oxford university abbreviated words by adding «er» to the end; for instance, «rugby rules» was referred to as «rugger». When one student, Charles Wreford Brown, was asked if he’d like to play rugger, he was the first to abbreviate «association rules» (Football Association rules) by answering, «No, soccer».

✵ More than 100 million people hold hunting licenses.

✵ Major League Baseball teams use about 850,000 balls per season.

✵ Golf is the only sport played on the moon — on 6 February 1971 Alan Shepard hit a golf ball.

✵ The youngest ever Olympian is Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who competed in the 1896 Athens Olympics. He was 10 years old.



Task 11. Answer the questions.

1. What are the most popular kinds of sports in America?

2. Why is sport in the USA called «a major and growing segment of the American economy»?

Home assignment

Compare sports popular in the USA and Ukraine. (Use the Internet resources.)

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