‘Language League’ scheme for pupils to learn through football backed by Manchester City Women’s FC stars

Youngsters can learn a new language as part of an innovative scheme backed by the stars of Manchester City Women’s FC.

Manchester Metropolitan University has launched The Language League: Kick Off a creative initiative for young people to develop and enhance their language skills in French, German, Arabic or Spanish.

It is being launched in more than 3,000 primary and secondary schools in the North West.

It offers a fun approach to language learning linked to the game of football. Players from Manchester City Women’s FC helped to launch the scheme and talked about the importance of languages in today’s internationally diverse football teams.

Talking tactics

Midfielder Tessel Middag, from Holland, who speaks Dutch, English and can understand German, said: “Being able to speak different languages is a wonderful skill which can help you to understand and interact with more people.

“My teammates come from all over the world and lots of languages are represented in our man-city-fcdressing room. Being able to communicate with each other helps us to discuss tactics, understand formations and to get to know each other.”

Midfielder Kosovare Asllani, from Sweden, speaks Swedish, English, Albanian, and previously learned German and French.

“Languages can help you to visit other countries and make new friends,” she said. “The Language League is a brilliant scheme to bring learning to life through football.”


Tessel Middag, Kosovare Asllani, goalkeeper Marie Hourihan, and midfielder Keira Walsh, speak about languages in the short video here above.

The Language League: Kick Off classroom toolkits will help teachers deliver inspirational language lessons using fun, interactive and engaging football-themed resources.

It comprises an international community of animated players, both male and female, manager, team mascot and home stadium. The materials include a fully integrated package of teachers’ notes, pupils’ workbooks, PowerPoint presentations and additional printed material, such as flashcards.

It forms part of Routes into Languages North West, led by Manchester Metropolitan, to encourage youngsters and support languages in schools.

Language revolution

Yasmin Hussain, Project Manager of Routes into Languages North West, said: “A quiet revolution happened in English primary schools, representing a historic curriculum change: language learning was made compulsory for all children between seven and 11.

“We are seeing a new language become a normal part of children’s learning from the beginning of their primary education. The Language League: Kick Off will provide classroom resources to help teachers and pupils on this language journey.”