Rugby The language of rugby inspires world-first study

Rugby These constituents are interesting!

Rugby The language of rugby inspires world-first study
Stuart Benson and his Japanese rugby team. Credit: Victoria University of Wellington

Rugby union may have one sporting code but Stuart Benson says it has many technical terms that can be misinterpreted by players from different cultural and language backgrounds. As part of his Ph.D. in Linguistics, he has created a list of these words, and developed a first-of-its-kind English for Special Purposes (ESP) course for rugby players.

“I went to Japan as a high school exchange student, and to assimilate into a new country and culture, I joined the school’s rugby team,” says Stuart. “The technical vocabulary was not the only linguistic barrier I needed to overcome. Pronunciation of this vocabulary and new and altered phrases were tricky, and in Japan at that time there was no rugby on television.”

Stuart surveyed 86 coaches and players in Japan and New Zealand on the language difficulties they had found when traversing cultural barriers.

“I was surprised at the number of people that had also experienced language difficulties when playing rugby. Of the 86 survey participants, 84 noted that language diffi

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