Since collocations can be challenging to create practice activities for, consider using some of the free, printable worksheets available in this section. There are 70 worksheets currently listed with more being added regularly. This collocations worksheet is for intermediate and upper-intermediate business students and comes with great teachers notes to help you use the material effectively in class. It focuses on verb collocations with meeting and utilizes some excellent business English phrases. If your students are not ready for this activity consider using another worksheet and feel free to download anything that looks interesting. You can always view the whole worksheet before deciding whether or not you want to use it in class.
Collocations are commonly used word pairings or phrases and as such are important for your students to understand. While the above example is for rather advanced students, you can include this topic in pre-intermediate classes too. Here is an excellent worksheet that students can use to practice pairing do, play, and have with appropriate nouns. Students do not need to have collocations explained to them. It is more important to focus on using words correctly than on specific rules. By completing activities like this one, even beginner students can feel confident using collocations 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.