In Class News

May 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Students Study UK Sport and Culture at Manchester, England over Spring Break

Students prepare to watch an English Premiership football match in Stoke City, England, shown here sitting in the stands at the stadium.

Students prepare to watch an English Premiership football match in Stoke City, England.


Every year Dr. David Bell, Associate Professor of Linguistics, takes a group of students to Manchester, England for the UK Sport and Culture spring break study abroad program.

This year the group was joined by Annie Brackley, Sports Administration Instructor.

The course consists of online modules with lectures, readings, and movie clips about topics such as fandom and cultural identity, fan chants and songs, trash talk, motivational half-time speeches, sport announcer talk, sport writing and the representation of sport in the movies, the semantics of team names and athlete nicknames, sport metaphor and the relationship of sport and politics.

In Manchester, the focus is mainly on soccer or rather “football.” Manchester has become the most famous football city in the world – Manchester United are the world’s most valuable club and Manchester City are the world’s richest football club. Students visit the stadiums of United, City and Liverpool, and meet with officials, historians, and fans.

This year the group also met with Steven McInerney, who runs the YouTube fan channel “Esteemed Kompany.” And of course,  the group attended an English Premiership match, traveling down to Stoke to see Stoke City versus Man City, with Manchester winning 2- 0.

Manchester is also the first industrial city. Students visit the People’s Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry, which tell the story of the Industrial Revolution and the development of “Cottonopolis” as Manchester was nicknamed. Students also visit Chetham’s Library, where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels studied together.

The industrialization of Manchester also is connected to the birth of football as a popular entertainment for the working class. The Factory Act, which made Saturday a half-day working day, allowed workers to watch football matches in the afternoon at the traditional kick-off time of 3 p.m. The English Football League was founded in Manchester in 1888. Soon after Manchester City, who started as a church social club, and Manchester United, who began as a railway workers team, joined the league.

About the Spring Break Study Abroad Program

Undergraduate students can choose to get credits for the trip as a Tier III, Language, Culture, and Sport, or as LING 2750 Language and Culture. Graduates can take it as LING 5880 Special Topics.

UK Sport and Culture study abroad program takes place over 2019 spring break, March 9-17. For more information, contact Dr. David Bell at

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