Idioms ESL Games, Activities and Worksheets

Hang in there!

ESL Idioms Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this idioms board game, students practice common idioms by using them to complete sentences. Give each group of three or four a copy of the game board, a dice, counters, and a gap-fill sentences sheet with the answers folded so they are hidden. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a player lands on a letter square, the student to their right picks up the sheet and reads the gap-fill sentence that corresponds to the letter on the square and the number they rolled to reach it, using the word BLANK for the missing idiom in the sentence. The player listens to the sentence and then uses one of the idioms shown in the idiom bank on the game board to complete the sentence. For more advanced classes, you can have the player repeat back the full sentence with the correct idiom. If the player answers correctly, they move forward one space. If they answer incorrectly, they move back one space. The first player to reach the finish is the winner.
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Idioms Bluff

ESL Idioms Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this fun idioms activity, students create false definitions for idioms and then play a game where they guess which definition for an idiom is correct. Divide the students into groups of four. Then, split each group into two teams of two (Team A and B). Give each team a corresponding worksheet. Working with their partner, the students create a third false definition for each idiom on their worksheet. The idiom and correct answer are shown in bold. When both teams have finished, they take it in turns to read their idioms and three definitions to the other team. The other team then guesses which definition is correct. If they successfully guess the correct definition, the other team puts a tick next to the idiom. The game continues until all the idioms and definitions have been read out and guessed. The team with the most correct guesses wins the game. If you have a strong class, this game can also be played in pairs.
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Well-known English Idioms

ESL Idioms Worksheet - Reading, Matching and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this idioms worksheet, students learn and practice 12 idioms commonly used in the English language. Give each student a copy of the two-page worksheet. To begin, students match sentence halves together that contain well-known English idioms. Next, the students guess the meanings of the idioms from the sentences in Exercise A and match them with their correct definitions. After that, the students complete sentences with the idioms from the previous page. In the last exercise, students complete questions with the words shown. The students then answer the questions in the spaces provided. Afterwards, the students ask and answer the questions with a partner.
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