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ESL Worksheets: Sports Collocations

Level: ESL Intermediate
Objective: Practice collocations related to sports


Brainstorm sports-related words and introduce the idea of collocations:
Ask your students to make a list of 5 words related to sports, such as player, record, competition, team, etc.
Write the word ‘team’ (or any other example) in the middle of the board and ask the students what types of teams they know about. Arrange the words you elicit to the left of the word ‘team’:
national/amateur/professional/junior/senior/varsity team
Ask an additional question so that other phrases can be created with the word ‘team’. For example:
Have you ever played for a team?
Would you like to join a ______ team? (name a sport that might be relevant to your students)
Can a sportsman play against his/her own team?
play for, play against, join, set up, coach, get into, beat a team
Tell the students that these words collocate, or sound ‘good’ together, and are better remembered in phrases as they as they are often used in each other’s company.
Pair work:
Hand out the worksheet. Students find the word that goes well with the words listed (1-14). Monitor and take the exercise up in the open class.

Student Worksheet: Sports Collocations
  • gear
  • ball
  • trophy
  • play
  • competition
  • exercise
  • team
  • victory
  • fans
  • recreational
  • player
  • record
  • sports
  • injury

1. One can enter, win, lose, judge, host, participate in, hold a .

2. One can be a top, key, minor, professional, promising, or an outstanding .

3. Athletes often have a hamstring, ligament, or tissue .

4. There can be a/an facility, class, or activity.

5. There are indoor, outdoor, competitive, extreme, summer, winter, or team .

6. A/An can be historic, decisive, easy, major, final, sweeping, or unexpected.

7. There are loyal, big, devoted, avid, or keen .

8. There is sports, protective, outdoor, or fitness .

9. There is a fair or foul .

10. One can set, break, beat, surpass, keep, or hold a/an .

11. One can kick, pass, bounce, catch, or throw a/an .

12. One can win, receive, award, compete for a/an .

13. A/An can be gentle, moderate, strenuous, low-impact, stretching, routine, or regular.

14. One can play for, play against, join, set up, coach, get into, beat a/an .

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ESL Worksheet - Sport Collocations.pdf

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