This ESL worksheet can be used both with Business English students and as a General English lesson. It is dedicated to idioms used when talking about burnout. It is a highly relatable topic which is sure to get your students talking!
The first 9 idioms (e.g. to blow off steam, to take a toll, to be burning the candle at both ends, to hit a wall, to bite off more than you can chew, to be at the end of your tether) are introduced through a short dialogue between 2 colleagues. After matching the idioms to their definition, it’s practice time – students choose the correct idiom to complete 6 sentences and then discuss whether or not the sentences are true for them.
Next, students are presented with another dialogue. It is both a practice activity, as they need to complete it with 4 idioms, and a way to introduce the rest of the idioms (to call it a day, to have a lot on your plate, to spread yourself too thin). To practise, students paraphrase 6 sentences, using the correct idiom.
The rest of the activities are mostly focused on speaking. First, students are given 5 discussion questions, each of them including an idiom related to burnout. Next, they are presented with 2 role-play scenarios. After that, they look at 5 discussion questions related to burnout in general, and are tasked with using 1 of 3 idioms given in their answers.
The last activity in the worksheet is a writing activity. Students are given the beginning of a story which they have to complete.
You can use the printable conversation cards, which contain 12 discussion questions, to revise these idioms related to burnout.