View Content #28580

Content Type4
TitleIdiomatic Expressions

This activity was created for language learners of all proficiency levels. It invites learners to consider idiomatic expressions and to select one or two to include in their writing in an effort to improve their output.

Learning Outcomes:
Learners will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what an idiomatic expression is
  • Incorporate at least one idiomatic expression in their writing

Mode(s): Presentational

Materials: Using Idiomatic Expressions to Improve Writing video, a list of five to ten idiomatic expressions in the target language


  1. As a group, watch the Using Idiomatic Expressions to Improve Writing video
  2. Ask learners to brainstorm idiomatic expressions they already know. For Novice learners, allow them to offer examples in the L1. More advanced learners will likely be able to offer L1 and L2 examples. Document the brainstorming session on a shared digital space (e.g., Google Doc) or a shared analog space (e.g., butcher paper). 
  3. Next, provide learners with five to ten idiomatic expressions in the target language (these can come from the brainstorming session or can be newly introduced). Allow learners to predict the meaning of each expression before providing the meaning yourself.
  4. Form small groups of learners (three or four group members is ideal). In face-to-face contexts, ask learners to write each idiomatic phrase on a small slip of paper (one phrase per slip). In digital contexts, ask that learners use the chat function within video conferencing to make sure that they all have the list. 
  5. Next, one learner in each group will select an idiomatic expression (by drawing a slip in face-to-face contexts or picking from the list in online contexts). The learner will have one minute to draw an image of the idiomatic expression. The other group members must try to guess it.
  6. Rotate learners acting as drawers and repeat Step 5 until all idiomatic expressions have been reviewed. Next, ask learners to identify one idiomatic expression they would like to use in their writing. Remind them about the video from Step 1 and that the use of idiomatic expressions is one strategy for making their writing more expert-like.
Inputdate2021-07-21 05:29:49
Lastmodifieddate2021-07-26 10:57:41
ExpdateNot set
Publishdate2021-07-26 09:15:02
Displaydate2021-07-26 00:00:00