The Upper/High Intermediate Level Learners

Learners who have reached the Upper/High Intermediate level are familiar with the main structures of the English language and have acquired a very good level of fluency and accuracy. However, they still make mistakes in some basic areas: tense usage, prepositions, clauses, and verb forms (gerunds and infinitives, for example). They also have a good level of vocabulary and have a good command of the major skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.  That being said, teachers can help learners at this level to progress by taking into account the needs described below.

Upper/High Intermediate Level – ESL Levels

At the Upper/High Intermediate Level learners need to:

  • develop a deeper understanding of the English language including more sophisticated vocabulary, structures and styles.
  • concentrate more on grammatical accuracy and writing more comprehensibly.
  • be exposed to new expressions, words, and phrases, particularly practice in word formation and collocation.
  • have practice in longer and more demanding listening and reading material, mainly authentic material from varied sources and topics.
  • express themselves more intelligibly, more accurately and with a greater range of expression.
  • be guided on how to improve the different skills by using appropriate learning strategies, i.e., how to remember and use more vocabulary, write essays and longer writing pieces, and express themselves more intelligibly and fluently.
  • be challenged with the material and the language work so that they do not get bored and feel that they are progressing with the language.

Teaching Grammar – Upper/High Intermediate Level

From the grammatical point of view, some of the most important topics that students at this level need to review and develop in order to get a more profound understanding are: the English tenses and their specific uses, modal verbs and their varied functions, all types of conditional sentences, passive voice constructions, gerund and infinitives, simple and complex prepositions, and all types of subordinate clauses.

Teaching Vocabulary – Upper/High Intermediate Level

As for vocabulary, some of the best types of activities to help learners develop vocabulary building skills are those where the students have to guess the meaning of words in context, find words in a text with a specific meaning given by the teacher, or word-building activities where the learners have to think of another part of speech. For example, the students are given the verb to commit and they have to find the corresponding noun, commitment.

To make learning more relevant, encourage students to relate material to their own lives and experiences.

Related Reading:

Teaching Low Levels

Teaching Multi-Level Classes

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