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Four-Day Work Week ESL Lesson Plan

The 4-Day Work Week — Can It Work?

Student Level


Video Length: 1:59

Updated on: 11/02/2023

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

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Four-Day Work Week ESL Lesson Plan Description


This four-day work week ESL lesson plan contains PDF worksheets, activities, and digital materials for intermediate B1 students. By the end of the lesson, students will understand and be able to communicate their ideas and opinions about four-day work weeks. They will also be able to use compound nouns and phrases related to negotiating a four-day work week at a company.


To start this ESL lesson on four-day work weeks, students use some work-related phrases to talk about their typical working days and weeks. This is then followed by a section with discussion questions about work weeks. In the third part, there is a mind map with topics for students to explore about 4-day work weeks. The preview section finishes with a section for vocabulary. Students choose a word that matches a provided definition, and students then have to talk about how it may relate to the topic.


The video that this lesson is based on a news report video by an Australian news station. In the video, a handful of people are interviewed, including employees from companies, about their thoughts on 4-day work weeks. It highlights the appeal of this shorter work week, its positive impact on work-life balance, and the efforts of companies to maintain productivity despite reduced working hours. In the viewing and listening activities, students answer some questions, do an activity on missing numbers, and do a matching activity matching sentence halves.


Following the video, students discuss a few questions about the initiative and their opinions on a few related topics. Next, students complete some sentences using some compound words that were contained in the video dialogue. These include words such as:

  • New Zealand-based company
  • Four-day work week
  • Work-life balance
  • Mini-holiday

This is followed up by an activity in which students make their own questions about work using some more compound words. Students take turns asking and answering their questions using these compound words.


At the end of this lesson plan on 4-day work weeks, there are two options for students to choose from for the communicative activation. In the first option, students engage in a discussion about four-day work weeks in students' own contexts.

In the second option, students engage in a role play task in which one student invites another (a project manager in a company) tries to negotiate with and persuade their HR manager to consider implementing a four-day work week. Students apply some of the phrases and compound nouns they learned in the lesson plan to their negotiations in the role play.

Benefits of using this four-day work week ESL lesson plan:

Relevance: Four-day work weeks are a contemporary and widely discussed topic, making the lesson plan highly relevant to students' lives and current events.

Vocabulary Development: The lesson plan can introduce and reinforce vocabulary related to employment, work, and work-life balance, including phrases and compound nouns.

Critical Thinking: Encouraging students to consider the pros and cons of a four-day work week stimulates critical thinking, especially in regard to how it applies in their own personal context.

Video Description

This news video covers a global trend towards a 4-day work week, where employees work less but still get the same pay. It emphasizes the benefits of this shorter work week, like better work-life balance, and how companies aim to keep productivity high despite shorter hours.

Lesson Activities


Four-day Work Weeks, Work-life Balance


Short Answers, Numbers, Matching, Prediction Check


Matching, Compound Words, Phrases


Discussion & Role Play, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Four-day Work Weeks, Work-life Balance

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