International Soccer Training: 7 Tips For Overcoming Language Barriers

Overcoming Barriers
As soccer (Football) has grown in popularity and truly established itself as the one truly global sport, the need for intercultural competence has increased.

One of the most important parts of this personal development is language acquisition or education, but upon becoming a professional soccer player that may not always be practical!

Ten years ago, when asked if he was learning English three years into his stint in England, Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires admitted with embarrassment that he had not.

I’d really like to learn, but in three years, I haven’t found the time. I had lessons at the beginning, but when you play so often, it’s not easy to concentrate on learning, but I know it’s a mistake. - Robert Pires

EduKick International Football Academies (EIFA) wisely makes language learning a core value of its soccer & education academies around the world. EIFA believes that learning the language of the country – becoming more inter-culturally competent – where you are playing is an integral part of the soccer training and development in that particular country.

EduKick’s Mission Statement is clear:

…to teach, inspire and create the best technical footballers possible and create international students with inter-cultural competence (ICC) enabling them to compete in the modern competitive world.

Overcoming Language Barriers

The time to overcome the language barrier is while you are still developing!

Here are some tips that Edukick International Football Academies provides all of its program participants with when they arrive that you will find useful:

1. Speak slowly and clearly – whether you’re using the language of your host country or your native tongue.

2. Don’t be Shy - It is essential that one not be shy when attempting to learn a language. Don’t be afraid to speak in the foreign language and make mistakes. Mistakes are important because as you are corrected you will learn.

3. Remember (and repeat) what you hear – The best way to learn a language (and gain intercultural competence) is through total immersion – or being completely surrounded by it. So listen to the locals speaking the new language and try to repeat and copy them.

4. Avoid idioms, clichés, and jargon – Try not to use phrases that are local to your home country as they may not translate appropriately.

5. Be calendar smart- start your language education with learning time and date related words to avoid scheduling confusion.

6. Watch body language – So much can be learned from watching the eyes, hands, and facial expressions. Be confident and go with your gut if you don’t really know what’s being said – and remember to clarify.

7. Be patient – learning a new language and culture takes time. Rome was not built in one day. Enjoy the process of learning a new language and becoming bi-lingual, it’s fun and will distinguish you from others.

On the soccer pitch – it’s been said that football is a universal language. So, when you’re on the pitch with a mixture of players from different cultures – simply enjoy together playing the beautiful game.

Experience the language, football, and cultural experience of a lifetime!
Contact EduKick for more information at 866.338.5425. or internationally at 001.905.469-5661

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