Creative Education
2013. Vol.4, No.6, 411-414
Published Online June 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciR e s . 411
Comparative Study between Teaching Football with Oral and
Oral/Graphic Verbalization
Makram Zghibi1*, Mohamed Jabri2, Najmeddine Ouesleti3, Chamseddine Guinoubi4,
Samira Welhezi2, Moez Hamdi2
1LASELDI, University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France
2Higher Institute of Sports and Physical Education, Kef, Tunisia
3Higher Institute of Education and Training Contained, Tunis, Tunisia
4Research Laboratory, “Sports Performance Optimiza tion” National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports
(CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia
Email: *
Received April 10th, 2013; revised May 15th, 2013; accepted May 28th, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Makram Zghibi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons
Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original work is properly cited.
The aim of this study was to compare two methods of teaching using two different modalities of verbali-
zation: oral and oral/graphic. We opted for a quantitative-comparative analysis of the pupils’ language
typologies taken from oral and written productions of third secondary grade pupils who play football in a
professional club (juniors of Olympic Kef, IInd league, 18 years old on average). The comparisons be-
tween the group proceeding to an oral verbalization versus the group using an oral/graphic one as well as
intra-groups’ comparisons did not show clear significant differences. Despite of a statistical signification
absence, we note that the two teams made a progress (increase in the number of played and conquered
balls and the shots on target) especially during the last three sessions. Indeed, the debate of ideas is a
process. It is relevant that the interaction between learning oral and graphic verbalization is more dynamic,
whenever pupils verbalize orally and graphically, they are more motivated to learn.
Keywords: Teaching; Oral/Graphic Verbalization; Football; Game
Comparative education collects data about educational sys-
tems; it offers an explanation about the links between education
and culture (Lê Thành Khôi, 1995). It initiates researches ori-
ented to decisions (international organizations) and also to con-
clusions: studies on the relationship between education, culture
and society (De Landsheere, 1992). Comparative education
aims to contribute to a better comprehension (Zerai, 2011). In-
deed, by comparing educational facts belonging to different
contexts, we are guided to explore other cultures (De Land-
sheere, 1972). It then passes to a better understanding of our
own culture, and discovering relativism but it is necessary to
define the field of comparative education previously (Zerai,
It is in this comparative perspective that this work aimed to
compare two methods of teaching using two different modali-
ties of verbalization: oral and oral/graphic.
This study opts for a quantitative analysis of oral and written
productions of third secondary grade pupils who play football
in a professional club (juniors of Olympic Kef, IInd league, 18
years old on average).
The research protocol proposed in this study lies in the or-
ganization of a cycle of ten “one effective-hour” sessions of
football (eight hours and a half of motor and verbal practice
were observed and recorded). Learning during these sessions
will offer an opportunity in which pupils can exchange ideas
freely to build action projects. This creates among pupils/play-
ers the search for answers to the problems encountered during
the game. The proposed sessions are all based on game situa-
tions on a handball pitch (40 m × 20 m). Each session (ses-
sion’s body) consists in two game situations (two matches)
controlled by the teacher and separated by a five minutes se-
quence of debate of ideas (Gréhaigne et al., 1998) provided by
two specialist teachers.
Therefore, it is a comparative analysis aiming to convey the
pupils’ language typologies through analytical models of ana-
lyze taken from the sciences of language (Roulet, 1987). The
aims of this experiment are to allow to all the pupils to partici-
pate in the process of knowledge building via the lived game
situations. They are called to analyze and understand what is
happening during the play situation in order to build an action
project and check whether it is actually applied on the pitch.
The Figure 1 shows the experiment steps: pupils play for ten
minutes, and then verbalize during five minutes before to return
to play again (another 10 min) to implement the action project
set by each team. During the verbalization sequences, pupils
discuss their action project to solve the problems experienced in
the first situation of the game. The debate of ideas is a space for
dialogue that allows to learners to negotiate the meaning of
*Corresponding author.
Figure 1.
Global structure of the ideas’ debate situation.
game action. The second game situation is performed to check
whether the action project is done or not. The situation of ideas’
debate is organized to allow for students to exchange their in-
tentions about the action orally or graphically (Chang, 2009). In
other words, the teacher provides:
- A sequence of verbalization (oral) for Team A (students
discuss verbally about the game).
- A sequence of verbalization (oral and graphic) for Team B
(students discuss verbally about the game so they can simulta-
neously draw the action strategies to be followed during the
following played situation).
In this work we will pass from a classic behaviorist concep-
tion that considers the teacher as a designer of situations and
ready solutions provider to a constructivist conception where
the teacher is a mediator of knowledge (Zghibi, 2009). During
the debate of ideas, the teacher is a manager of interlocutions
reviving pupils’ thinking, without taking a position (Nachon,
2004). According to Pieron (2000), the quality of education
depends on the teacher’s attitude, his interventions, his knowl-
edge and his vision of learning. From our choice of teachers,
roles will be divided as follows: the first teacher controls the
oral verbalization with the Team A, the second one assures
verbal and graphic verbalization with Team B.
For pedagogical reasons and since the level of boys is very
high comparing to the girls, the study was conducted on a sam-
ple composed only by masculine subjects. It should be noted
that Football is a popular sport practiced in the streets and
quarters mainly by boys in the region of Kef.
The sample consists of 14 boys in the third year of secondary
school. The subjects were further divided into two equal sub-
groups (in number and strength).
This choice is based on the fact that didactic studies recog-
nize that at this level, the pupils are generally able to analyze,
understand and especially to problematize independently from
the teacher. Thus, they participate in the process of construction
of knowledge, referring to the proposed situations and looking
for ways to deal with the problems. This is part of the didactic
principle of Gréhaigne (1992) “understand to succeed” which
allows the problematization of the difficulties encountered dur-
ing the action.
Each team is composed by seven players: 5 pupils play and 2
others (substitutions) make observation and participate system-
atically and regularly. We note that the substitutions and the
switch of goalkeepers are done by the pupils themselves and
independently of the intervention of teachers.
This choice can be also justified by the fact that in a tactical
approach or even a semio-linguistic one, it would be better to
give pupils free choice to fend for themselves during the game
(Gréhaigne, 2009). According to this conception, learning is
done in problem-solving situations favoring a generalization of
learned content. The learner plays an important role in deter-
mining the process of the game.
We used three cameras during played situations and verbali-
zation sequences: a fixed one to record the game situations and
two mobile cameras recording the pupils’ discussion sequences
of pupils.
We opted for an observation grid concerning game indicators
(Gréhaigne, Billiards, & Laroche, 1999). This tool was devel-
oped to assess the power balance in football in order to better
describe the evolution of adversarial relationships. These indi-
cators are: playing volume (total number of played balls), de-
fensive capacities (balls won from the opponent), adaptation to
the game (number of lost balls), players’ offensive capacities
(shots on target) and efficiency index (goals scored).
This section focuses on the comparison between the results
of the two types of teaching with: oral and oral/graphic ver-
balization. As for comparisons between groups A and B, intra-
groups’ comparisons did not show significant differences. Only
one significant improvement was detected concerning the num-
ber of played balls for the Group B after the development of
action projects comparing to played balls before.
We note, despite of a signification absence, that for the two
teams the number of played and conquered balls together with
the number of shots on target tend to increase. As we did use a
purposive sampling, the number as well as the duration of ses-
sions and game phases can be the reason of the absence of sig-
nifications and this without affecting neither the improvements
nor the utility of the debate phases.
Team A
There is no significant difference throughout the eight ses-
sions between the number of lost balls during the first sequence
and those recorded during the second sequence. The number of
balls lost by interception before and after each sequence of
verbalization evolved from the first to the last session from 21
to 17, 13 to 14, 11 to 22, 18 to 20, 18 to 19, 24 to 27, 20 to 25
and 26 to 31 (Figure 2). This indicator provides information
about the playing volume developed in confrontation and in-
forms about how the ball is exchanged between the partners and
the number of successful passes. The idea is to see the quality
evolution of the passes exchanged between the same team
strikers. A played ball is counted when a team comes into pos-
session. The team is now in position to keep the ball and decide
next moves. Therefore, the quality of play is dependent on the
Figure 2.
Direct effects of oral verbalization on the game paramete rs.
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s .
number of played balls: the more this number is important the
better the game is in a given unit of time.
We note that during all the cycle except the first and fourth
session, the number of shots is more important during the game
following the sequence of verbalization. As shown in the Fig-
ure 2, the evolution during the eight sessions is respectively
from 10 to 5, 9 to 13, 11 to 3, 4 to 11, 8 to 7, 7 to 12, 11 to 14
and 7 to 16. Shooting a ball here is an action that can score
goals and thus increase the team score. In football, shooting is
an indicator of major importance that informs about the offen-
sive capacities’ improvement. Moreover, victory in team sports,
especially football, depends on the number of scored goals.
This indicator provides information about the team offensive
efficiency and the degree of scoring among balls shot on target.
During the eight sessions, we passed respectively from 0 goals
before verbalization sequence to 0 goals to after this sequence,
0 to 2, 0 to 1 , 0 to 0, 2 to 2, 2 t o 2, 3 to 4 and f rom 0 to 3 in th e
last session.
Team B
During the eight sessions, the difference in the played balls
before/after verbalization is significant. There was a significant
improvement (p < 0.05) in the number of balls played after the
verbalization. Thus, we passed respectively from 16 played
balls before to 15 after the sequence of verbalization for the
first session, from 18 to 18 in the 2nd, 19 to 18 in the 3rd, 16 20
in the 4th, 21 to 27 in the 5th, 24 to 27 in the 6th, 29 to 33 7th
and finally from 32 to 39 during the last session. Figure 3
shows this evolution.
There is no continuous progression on the shots on target re-
alized during the games following the verbalization sequence
comparing to the first games. It passes respectively during the
eight sessions from 9 shots for the first game to 12 in the sec-
ond in the first session, from 5 to 4, 4 to 9, 16 to 3, 11 to 8, 3 to
3, 14 to 11 and from 15 to 14 during the eighth session. The
same observation is noted concerning the goals scored with
respectively 1 to 3 in the first session, 0 to 0 in the second ses-
sion, 1 to 1 (3rd, 4th and 5th sessions), 0 to 0 in the 6th session, 3
to 3 in the 7th session and from 1 to 2 goals in the last session.
Discussion of the Main Findings
The only significance is denoted about the played balls for
Team B which received an apprenticeship using oral and
graphic verbalization. This evolution in the played balls can be
explained by the tendency to manage more ball possession. The
efficiency of pupils’ oral/graphic verbalization appears via the
Figure 3.
Direct effects of oral/graphic verbalization on the game parameters.
implementation of decisions already taken in verbalization se-
quences. Players produce speech acts in order to subsequently
make sense to the game (Wallian & Gréhaigne, 2004). We can
say that the interaction between learning and oral and graphic
verbalization is dynamic. We also note that whenever pupils
verbalize orally and graphically, they are more motivated to
learn. In other words, the debate of ideas is a process that tends
to help on resolving problems.
Despite it’s a relation of power opposition continuously, we
note that the two teams made a progress and especially during
the last three sessions. This can be explained by the fact that
both teams are able to take into account how the other team
plays and to propose a combined technical-tactical solutions
adapted to the opposing team abilities. However, the problem
of the presence of the opponent appears in all the verbalization
sequences. This shows that the players of both te ams are a ble to
take into account the intentionality of opponents.
The semio-constructivism gives great importance to the pro-
cess by which learner can co-construct his knowledge and ac-
tions from his experiences. Indeed, the players try through these
verbalization sequences to think about their played experiences,
to negotiate about the available solutions, and to co-construct
action rules as action projects and achieve them collectively
during the second situation (Grehaigne, 2009).
The realization of action projects in the last three sessions
can be explained by the fact that pupils have begun to create
new relationships with their teammates. These relationships are
based on some agreement that results in a realizable action
project (Lave & Wenger, 1991).
The debate of ideas helps players to manage information
better, which leads to the conclusion that they do not learn ran-
domly, nor assimilate passively what others teach them. Learn-
ing is a product of experience: it is easier when the experience
is deliberately and systematically searched by the learner. The
debate of ideas is thus an interaction between what we have in
mind and what others think.
The game situation highlights the difficulty of individual
choice decisions, design the most appropriate response each
time that the problem situation is not familiar or predictable.
The use of the debate of ideas between pupils guides to a modi-
fication of cognitive structures.
Linguistic processes promote awareness and the emergence
of effective action projects. That is how learning becomes more
predictable and there will be a better match between the answer
ssand the game situation in the future.
Construction of new knowledge is the result of a long history
of interaction between the different responses to problem situa-
tions caused by the game and forecasts of actions planned dur-
ing verbalizations. The interaction between pupils produces the
development and the modification of individual representations
(Wallian & Chang, 2007; Zghibi et al., 2013a).
By better managing the organization of what we know, we
can enrich indefinitely our ability to solve a problem such as a
better space management via the calculation of pass’ distance,
opponents’ location and moves. If tactical skills are, in part,
built thanks to these cognitive tools, verbal interactions be-
tween peers help obviously for their development.
The analysis of the discourses made during the debate of
ideas could help the pupils to understand better if the proposals
are likely to be successful or to fail (Zghibi et al., 2013b). Thus,
they learn to limit their learning objectives and have reasonable
expectations about what they can accomplish. However, while
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s . 413
Copyright © 2013 SciRe s .
learning, pupils do not need to be told what to do. Learning to
act in play, with the emergence of action projects, participate in
pupils’ cognitive development, particularly in the construction
of structured thinking.
During this learning cycle we noticed that pupils who at-
tended a verbalization with graphic schematization (Team B)
show a significant increase in the number of played balls. This
is reflected in the immediate change of the game strategy, the
rapid counterattacks and a more developed analysis of the game
context. Thus, the players have passed a first level to go to a
more advanced, more consisting one; mainly concerning the
“played balls” parameter. This can also be justified by the
number of projects implemented by the pupils during the last
three sessions. Team A has also experienced increases espe-
cially during the last 3 sessions but remain statistically not sig-
Thereby this study about discursive productions highlights
the importance of verbalization in the football teaching/learning
system in Tunisia, with either oral or graphic verbalization.
This study presents some limits: methodological and linguis-
tic limitations. Concerning the first category, the sample used in
the experimental protocol is so small to generalize the results.
The number of sessions itself (eight) does not allow us to prove
more significant results. In addition, this study did not consider
neither the discourse of the teacher nor the pupil discourse dur-
ing the game.
As for language difficulties, it is noted that on the one hand,
the translation is not perfect. Instead it presents multiple discur-
sive weaknesses. On the other hand, the model we used in dis-
course analysis doesn’t allow studying all the details and speci-
ficities of the pupils’ discourse. In addition, other means of
communication come into play without being taken into ac-
count such as gestures, laughter, facial expressions, etc. (Zghibi,
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