a calendar with 31 december and 1 january, illustrating the new year, and the word "idioms"

Idioms: New Year

Worksheet overview

This worksheet is dedicated to 12 idioms that are used around New Year’s time to talk about resolutions, new beginnings, change and our plans for the next year. It includes plenty of communicative activities so that students can learn and practise them.

The first activity introduces 8 idioms (e.g. kick the habit, no pain, no gain, turn over a new leaf) through a dialogue about 2 friends’ New Year’s resolutions. Students work out the meaning of the idioms and match them to their definitions. To practise the target vocabulary, students complete 4 statements with the correct idioms and use them as conversation starters.

Next, students learn 4 more idioms (ring in the new year, get back into the swing of things, start anew) through a dialogue about plans for New Year’s eve. Then students complete the beginnings of a few sentences given with their personal experiences and ideas and discuss their sentences with a partner.

After that students complete a practice task where they need to replace part of 4 sentences given with the correct idiom.

The last 2 activities are speaking activities: first students are asked to write down their New Year’s resolutions and discuss with a partner the best ways to achieve each one. Next, students talk about their plans for New Year’s eve.

This ESL worksheet, together with the conversation cards can be used in various classes in order to practise these New Year-related idioms. It would work great as an addition to lessons about the holidays, plans for the future, change.


Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

This worksheet works well in combination with the following lesson plans

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