Everyday conversations: Women and sports [audio]

Women's sports, such as soccer, are growing in popularity. (Thinkstock)

Six students from around the world meet. What do they have in common? They are all exchange students studying at a U.S. university for a semester. Throughout the semester, they learn more English, learn about U.S. culture, and learn more about their fields of study. This series of Everyday Conversations is about these six students and their experiences during a semester at a university in the U.S. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.

In this conversation, a student studying journalism (Ajay) interviews another student (Lucía) about her role in the women’s soccer team’s winning season.

Ajay: Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed, Lucía.

Lucía: No problem! I’m honored that you chose me.

Ajay: Well, you were the MVP of the last soccer game. Your team is on quite a winning streak. How does that feel?

Lucía: It feels amazing! Now that we are contenders for the championship title, more fans are coming out to support us. I’m glad that a women’s sports team is getting recognized.

Ajay: Do you think the women’s sports teams don’t get as much support from the fans as the men’s teams?

Lucía: It seems like there are more fans at men’s games. Even at the professional level, women’s sports take a back seat to men’s sports.

Ajay: You and the entire soccer team definitely should be front and center. You’re nearly undefeated. Your next matchup is against the Number 1 team in the league. How are you going to prepare?

Lucía: My teammates and I work hard at every practice until then. I’m also going to recruit as many people to come to the game to support our team and show us that women’s sports teams are just as important as men’s teams!

Now let’s review the vocabulary.

MVP means most valuable player; the person who was the most outstanding player in a sport during a specific game or season.

A winning streak is the number of games won in a row, or the length of time a team wins without interruption.

Championship title is the status of being the winner in a series of matches or games in a sport.

Fans are the people who like and support someone or something, such as a sports team, in a very enthusiastic way.

To get recognized means to receive special attention and notice, often in a public way.

Take a back seat means to be given a less important position or role.

Front and center is to be in the most important position.

When a sports team is undefeated, it has not lost a game or match so far during the sports season.

In sports, a matchup is a competition between two teams or people.

A league is a group of sports teams that play against one another.

To recruit means to find new people to join something.

Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help.

The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.

Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.