What they are all playing for: the Women's World Cup.

Teaching with Adverts: Women’s Football

Posted by Speakeasy News > Sunday 30 July 2023 > Webpicks

The FIFA Women's World Cup has inspired several interesting ads on the topic of women in sport and their relative fame and treatment to men. These three lend themselves especially well to being used in class.

You'll probably want to avoid the slogan of the first one, "what the football?". Luckily it's transparent enough for students to take at face value. It features an American daughter and dad watching Brandi Chastain taking the match-winning penalty in the 1999 World Cup, hosted by the U.S.A. The dad jumps up to celebrate and knocks himself into a coma. He wakes up Rip Van Winkle style in 2023 and can't believe how much has changed in women's football. Actually this would make a nice addition to our resource on the Rip Van Winkle story!

In any case there's plenty to discuss in the basic story and the visuals. The ad features 11 players: Ada Hegerberg (Norway), Alex Morgan (U.S.A.), Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria), Chloe Kelly (England), Debinha (Brazill), Grace Geyoro (France), Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada), Megan Rapinoe (U.S.A.), Sam Kerr (Australia), Sophia Smith (U.S.A.), and Wang Shuang (China). More advanced pupils should be able to pick out the ways the players are described and use similar expressions to describe their own sporting or other heroes.

This second ad celebrates players Alessia Russo (England), Lena Oberdorf (Germany) and Mary Fowler (Australia) and also features former England players David Beckham and Ian Wright, Leon Goretzka from Germany and Argentinian Lionel Messi alongside Wednesday actor and football fan Jenna Ortega. It's short and relatively simple, with the three women shooting and dribbling balls in a forest and a supermarket. It ends with a deadpan, "Clean up in aisle 23." Pupils can describe what's going on and be asked to compare their familiarity with the current female stars versus the male stars featured.

 And finally, we couldn't resist this one, even though it's French, so we wouldn't usually suggest it for English class. But in this "English version", the French is only the audio football commentary, so why not use it without sound. It's perfect for  éducation au médias: stop at 0'53 when you see "Only the Bleus can give us these emotions", then play on so pupils can discover that the whole first section was a fake: footage of the French women's team was altered to make it look like the men's players. (It's frighteningly well done.) Ask pupils if they feel differently about the footage once they know it was the women's team: would they have been as interested if you had shown the women playing first? You can also have a discussion about the video faking technology and some pupils might like to try doing a suitable excited commentary following the English subtitles in the first half.

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