4 Corners ESL Speaking Activity

This is a quick and easy activity to get your students out of their seats if they have been sitting at their desks all day. It can help provide a change of pace to the lesson and will get the students talking. To do the 4 Corners ESL Activity, all you need is some space in the classroom.

Student Level: Intermediate, Advanced

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Age Group: Adults

4 Corners ESL Activity

4 Corners ESL Activity Preparation:

You don’t have to prepare much for this activity. You should have a board marker, a pen, a piece of paper to write your words on, and plenty of room in the classroom for students.

If your classroom is particularly small then you may want to try using other parts of the school if you have access. This activity is ideal for larger classrooms with more space available to move around.

4 Corners ESL Activity Guidelines:

First, draw an outline on the board of the classroom with key locations, such as the teacher’s desk, the board, and any doors or windows that are in the classroom. Label numbers 1 to 4 at locations on the classroom layout that you have drawn on the board.

Next, give each student in the classroom a number from 1 to 4. Do it randomly so that they can have different partners to talk with instead of who they are accustomed to sitting with.

Tell the students to go to their location in the classroom, relating to the numbers that you highlighted on the board.

Write a topic on the board related to the lesson, or something that the class is interested in discussing.

Model an example discussion for the class using some target language with one of the groups. Pick a topic that they are all likely to be interested in so that everyone is more attentive. Clarifying the task in this manner will help students understand what to do for when they have to speak in their groups.

Tell the class to discuss the same topic with their groups for a set amount of time (ie. 5 minutes) and monitor accordingly. Help with any difficulties or questions. Students tend to enjoy it when the teacher participates in the smaller groups as well from time to time. However, make sure to give them as many opportunities to speak as possible.

After the time is over, stop the discussions, lead feedback and ask a student from each group what they discussed. Have them express anything that he, she, or the others in the group said that was funny, interesting, or memorable.

Lastly, change the topic on the board and repeat as necessary. After changing the topic a few times and giving feedback, have the students return to their seats after completing the 4 Corners Speaking Activity.

Follow-Up ESL Activities:

If time permits, you could wrap up with another activity as an extension to any of the topics that were discussed in the groups or have a look at the Battleships ESL Game. Assign a writing task related to one of the more popular topics and have the students do it for homework or have them hand it in before the end of the class.

View more speaking activities.

View more ESL activities.

View this activity on ESL Expat’s YouTube Channel:

Related ESL Resources Online:

Four Corners Activity on TheTeacherToolkit.com

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