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14 November 2019 /

Spurs footballer Heung-Min Son opening doors with language skills

This October, Heung-Min Son became the first Asian footballer in over a decade to be nominated for a Ballon d’Or - an annual football award presented by France Football - and although his sporting ability is key to his success, he also fuels his life and future with strong language skills.

Cambridge University Press invited YouTube sensation Korean Billy to meet Son and find out about the South Korean star’s language journey for the Press’s YouTube channel, Learn English with Cambridge.

Son has been playing for Tottenham Hotspur for almost four years and is a confident public speaker, regularly giving national interviews. However, when he first arrived in the UK, he wasn’t as fluent in the English language.

Having learnt English in school, he was able to communicate effectively straight away, but he attributes his deeper understanding of conversational English to practising speaking with friends. With friends like Dele Alli and Harry Kane, the “jokes without end” quickly made Son feel comfortable in a new country.

Son sees learning a language as a mark of respect for the country you are visiting. He believes people make mistakes, but integrating with native speakers helps iron them out: ‘Of course you will make mistakes, because it’s not 100% your language, but I think it’s most important you try and then fix the problems.’

During the interview, Son and Billy met some young Tottenham natives, who introduced a whole new level of colloquial speech.    

‘After my career, when I finish football, I can do something with my language,’ Son shared.

The Press connects teachers and learners around the world, through materials that develop the skills people need in order to grasp global opportunities. English Grammar in Use is a dedicated self-study resource for intermediate learners of English. The Press is giving away a copy of the 5th edition to five viewers of Billy and Son’s video; anyone can enter the prize draw by simply leaving a comment.

Korean Billy’s interview with Son will feature on the Learn English with Cambridge YouTube channel on 14 November 2019. To watch the video and enter the prize draw, viewers should go to


For more information contact:

Communications Team
Tel. 01223 326194


Notes to editors:

About Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. Our mission is to unlock people’s potential with the best learning and research solutions. Our vision is a world of learning and research inspired by Cambridge. Our peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise over 53,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 400 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and Bible publishing. Playing a leading role in today's global market place, we have over 50 offices around the globe, and distribute our products to nearly every country in the world. We publish 50,000 authors, including more than 170 Nobel Prize winners, based in over 100 different countries.

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