How does learning a language benefit an Olympic diver?

Olympic diver Tonia Couch reveals how learning mandarin has enabled her to progress in sport. From a BBC series exploring the importance of language skills in sport.

We join Tonia Couch and Tom Daley at a training session with their Chinese coach Li Peng. Tonia tells us about her visit to and successes at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the importance of language to making new friends in sport. Key words and phrases in Mandarin are demonstrated and shown on screen.

Students studying PE could be invited to practise the basic Mandarin that is presented in the interview. They might then visit a younger class in the school and tell them about the techniques and preparation involved in training and preparation to compete in elite sport. An addition to the visit would be an introduction to speaking Mandarin, where pupils could stress the social benefits within sport, of making the effort to speak another competitor’s language.

These clips could be used for teaching PE and Modern Foreign Languages at KS3 and KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and and National 4/5 or Higher in Scotland.