Tips for teaching intermediate ESL students

Tips for teaching intermediate ESL students

Blog / Tips and tricks

How to teach intermediate ESL students – this question is certainly asked by many teachers and tutors. No wonder because teaching at the intermediate level can be not only a challenge, but also a source of true satisfaction. Get to know our tips and take your teaching to the next level!

Point out the most important skills for an intermediate student

Follow the principle that a concrete plan brings order to your work and, thus, allows you to do it more effectively. A teaching plan for intermediate ESL students will make sense if you know exactly what skills are required at this level. Inform your students about them so that they are aware of what you are striving for together. It will also motivate them to learn new skills. You can create such a list during the first lesson, give it to your students and discuss it in a fun way. When discussing the plan and these types of issues, do it vividly, i.e. in a way that helps students imagine situations in which they will actually use the skills they have learnt.

A carefully prepared lesson plan

The success of every lesson and the pursuit of new challenges in language learning are the result of a carefully prepared plan. Use the ESL Lesson Plans, which are an indispensable help for the preparation of lessons. They can also speed up your work, but most importantly, they enable you to use them effectively in every lesson because they include issues appropriate for the level. Remember also that you do not have to stick to a particular plan, but you can modify it or use several of its elements during one lesson. Such an example may be the chapter Vocabulary, which should be carefully and gradually expanded at the intermediate level. For this purpose, you can provide some synonyms, new idioms and more practical examples of the use of many words.

It would be a good idea to work on authentic materials, such as using a scene from a popular TV series as an example. Interesting and authentic materials are more likely to stay in students’ minds for longer.

Work intensively with authentic materials

You also need to pay attention to the careful choice of ESL Lesson Plans so that the topics in the lesson plans are in line with what you want to show in the authentic materials. Learning at the intermediate level is an intensive process of learning the formal and informal language, so start using authentic materials. They are also a great way not only to expand vocabulary, but also to explain grammatical structures. At the intermediate level, lessons focusing solely on grammar can be really tiring, so these topics should be presented in an attractive form. Find out what your adult learners are interested in so that working with authentic materials could bring good results. If everyone in the group watches, for example, a new series on Netflix, take an interest in the topic and start working with dialogues from the latest series.

Emphasize the simultaneous development of several competences

Learning at intermediate level should focus on the simultaneous development of several competences. Choose engaging activities and tasks. An example of such an exercise could be, for example, listening to today’s news and noting down the most important information. In addition, ask your students to find a few synonyms, for example up to five words, and use them to form sentences related to the news they heard. Remember that you need to find a compromise between the element of challenge and the limited time the adult learners can devote to learning. If you ask them to do too much and every part of the task is significantly beyond their actual ability, they will simply become discouraged and, as a result, lose motivation to continue learning. Remember to always choose materials that are in line with the actual abilities of the students. Use ready-made lesson plans, have a look at ESL Lesson Plans from English4tutors, and find inspiration to prepare your next lesson!

About Tijana
About Tijana

Tijana is an ESL Teacher, Teacher Trainer, and ESL Content Creator with a decade-long working experience. She designed 600+ lesson plans. Tijana holds a B.A. in Applied Linguistics from UVic, an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from UBC, as well as a 120-hour TEFL certificate.

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