2012 – Olympic year! Whilst preparations are being finalised for the London games in July many of us teachers will be thinking about how we can exploit this in our classrooms over the coming weeks and months. What may not yet be on everyone’s radar is that the Winter Youth Olympic Games are taking place from 13th – 22nd January in Innsbruck. This is in fact the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics and is for young people between the ages of 14 and 18. The first Summer Games were held in Singapore in 2010.
This will mark the third occasion that Innsbruck has been an Olympic host city (the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976). The Innsbruck 2012 official site is in three languages (German, English and French) and so provides plenty of authentic material and language about winter sports and the Olympics in general, including a section on the Olympic values (excellence, respect and friendship) and the mascot, Yoggl.
The Winter youth games could be exploited in a number of ways, and could easily fit into some existing/traditional schemes of work:
- For those teaching German it is an opportunity to focus on Austria and the geography of the country, perhaps following the torch relay (Fackellauf/relais de la flamme), now into its 11th day. There are links to information in German about each place on the relay route which could be exploited for skim reading e.g What could a visitor see/do in Eisenstadt?
- The Torch relay page has links to “A day in the life of a relay runner” in French and German, so this could form the basis of a reading exercise where learners put sentences in the correct sequence.
- The Fanshop could easily be form the basis for teaching about prices, souvenirs, clothes and materials
- The timetable for events can be used to practise numbers, dates and times
- There is an animated film (Yoggl goes CEP) featuring the mascot Yoggl; this has images associated with many of the Olympic themes and values which could be exploited for oral and written work.
- Another short video Innsbruck 2012 Freeze flashmob could be used to practise/revise vocabulary for winter sports
And much more……..