This Business ESL worksheet is dedicated to 12 idioms used when discussing workplace ethics and different ethical and unethical behaviour at work. Students will practise them using conversation questions, a survey, and debates. You can combine it with other business worksheets such as “Idioms: ambition” and “Idioms: goals”.
The first 4 idioms (work one’s fingers to the bone, go the extra mile, lead by example, pull one’s weight) are introduced through a short text about strong business ethics. To practise them, students complete 5 sentences with the correct idiom and then discuss the sentences in pairs or small groups.
Next, a text about unethical behaviour at work introduces 4 more idioms (throw someone under the bus, pass the buck, sweep under the rug, cut corners). To practise, students take a look at 4 situations and decide which idiom can be used to describe each one.
The rest of the idioms are introduced through a short dialogue (stab someone in the back, go above and beyond, keep your nose clean, play by the book).
After that students complete a survey about their experiences, and share their ideas and examples with the rest of the class or a partner.
Finally, students take a look at 4 scenarios and engage in a debate according to the situation described.
You can use the conversation cards to review and practise these idioms.
Vocabulary: collocations (take a leap, raise awareness, set an example) Video: Our LEGO responsibility: protect the planet for future generations Speaking: conversation questions, role play (create a CSR strategy)
Idioms: throw someone under the bus, take credit for someone’s work, rub you the wrong way Video: How to deal with difficult co-workers Grammar: degrees of certainty (it’s inevitable that, it’s bound to, there is no way)