Free Time: Verb-Noun Collocations

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Now Here’s a Question

It’s the second week of the course with my A2 students, so they’re still getting over the shock of being back, or starting to learn English again for the first time in years. I wanted to get straight down to things, so up on the board I wrote:

What / like to do / free time?

This was, perhaps, the first time they’d seen a question presented like this, so unsurprisingly, when I asked them to write the complete question, they looked back at me speechless and one student even said “Question. It is wrong.” Now, despite having taught English for a number of years, it still riles me when my students get very insistent and excited that “Teacher is wrong!” – especially when they’re right! Today at least, it was a simple case of my failure to concept check, and once I’d given an example, they quickly got the idea and… immediately set about pelting me with all manner of outlandishly-lengthy structures! I held up my hand. “Four words. Jussst…4…Words.” Eventually, with a bit of guiding, we got there:

What do you like to do in your free time?

I now spoke the question at native speed with my best Estuary English accent