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ESL Worksheets: Office Collocations

Level: ESL High-Intermediate
Objective: practice office related collocations
Bring in, or draw a picture of an office.  Put it up on the board so that the whole class can see it.  Ask the learners to describe the picture.  Ask learners what vocabulary comes to mind when they look at the picture.  Brainstorm for a few minutes, allowing all learners to answer.
Write the words 'casual Friday' on the board.  Ask the class if they are familiar with this expression.   Allow learners to try to explain the meaning of this expression to the class.  Clarify or correct the meaning if needed. 
'Casual Friday' is an expression that describes the policy many North America offices follow that allows the employees to come to work in casual clothes on Fridays.
The expression 'casual Friday' is a collocation, which means it’s a group of words that commonly are arranged together.  This arrangement of words has a unique meaning.  Like idioms or phrasal verbs, it is best to remember the meaning of the group of words as one, not as individual words.  Unlike idioms and phrasal verbs, the meaning is sometimes more evident based on the separate meanings of each word.
Pair Work: Have learners work in pairs and discuss the following    collocations:
a) dress-down Friday
b) little Friday
c) man Friday
d) girl Friday

Have they heard any of these collocations?  What do they think the collocations mean?  Monitor as needed.

Hand out the worksheet.  Have learners complete the worksheets in pairs.  Learners choose the target word that best completes each sentence.
Additional Work: As a class have learners brainstorm for any other collocations using the target words.  Monitor as needed.  The answers don’t have to be related only to office vocabulary.  Possible answers include:

a) business day, day trip, lord’s day
b) office boy, oval office, box office
c) coffee bar, coffee addict, black coffee
d) time management, risk management, management fee
e) big weekend, weekend getaway, romantic weekend
f) severance pay, rate of pay, pay envelope
g) hand held computer, personal computer, computer error
h) on leave, shore leave, sabbatical leave
i) box lunch, lunch period, lunch meat
ESL Worksheet: Office Collocations
  • pay
  • management
  • leave
  • offices
  • weekends
  • coffee
  • office
  • computers
  • day
  • lunch

1. A first, last, sick, training or half describes the specific activity being completed.

2. Head, home, branch, central or home talk about the locations where work is completed.

3. break, shop, maker and run are terms office workers use to talk about getting liquid refreshments.

4. politics, etiquette, memo, hours and gossip describe behaviour in the workplace.

5. Upper, middle, micro and anger describe types of .

6. Long, three-day, and holiday describe .

7. Take-home, sick, base, holiday, overtime, and equal describe salaries.

8. Desktop and laptop talk about .

9. Sick, maternity, paternity, family and personal describe reasons for being away from work.

10. A brown-bag, late, business, or working describe the type of noon hour break workers have.

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ESL Worksheet - Office Collocations.pdf

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