This part of the site has a range of worksheets that focus on sets of words and collocations. There are currently 90 collocations worksheets posted in this section and they are all free and easy to print for use in your ESL classroom. This highly rated collocations worksheet has been successfully used by many busy teachers in the past. Created for intermediate learners, the focus of the worksheet is to practice using make and do. There are notes for an entire fifty minute class as well as a suggested homework assignment so this could not be any easier to plan. If you would like to incorporate some of your own ideas into a lesson plan, you might decide just to use certain portions of this plan instead of the whole thing. If you have created worksheets related to this topic in the past, please consider uploading your worksheets for other teachers to use.
When discussing new topics, it is important to introduce all related words at the same time so that students can learn everything they need before being asked to talk about the topic. This is especially true with beginners when you are introducing lots of topic related vocabulary. As students improve, they will begin to encounter collocations so you will have to devote an increasing amount of time to collocations as students become more fluent. Collocations are words that are often found together and just sound natural to native speakers. They can range from basic such as fast food to quite complex and will go a long way towards making students sound more like native speakers if they use the phrases correctly.
Within the area of corpus linguistics, collocation defines a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance. The term is often used in the same sense as linguistic government. Collocation defines restrictions on how words can be used together, for example, which prepositions are used with ("governed by") particular verbs, or which verbs and nouns are typically used together. An example of this (from Michael Halliday) is the collocation strong tea. While the same meaning could be conveyed through the roughly equivalent powerful tea, the fact is that tea is thought of being strong rather than powerful. A similar observation holds for powerful computers, which is preferred over strong computers. Collocations are examples of lexical units. Collocations should not be confused with idioms although both are similar in that there is a degree of meaning present in the collocation or idiom that is not entirely compositional.