One of the most typical difficulty for students or any learner I’ve observed is that, they may afford very well with modeled dialogues in English courses, but when it comes to relate a story or a memory they find it disappointing (due to the lack of vocabulary, grammar, etc.) they find it difficult and sometimes impossible.
Another factor which compounds this frustration is that a learner expect him/herself a lot to be able to handle such speech, because s/he thinks that for a person being in the upper-intermediate level is a weak point to fail to tell a story or narrate a memory of one’s life.
What do you think? How much do you agree? How would you explain this? Do you ever remind your learners not to expect themselves a lot, and let their ability talks for itself as they progress in learning a language?
Last edited by Rezafo; 28-Aug-2011 at 10:43. Reason: spacing
A partial solution is to have free (unscripted) conversation classes, or parts of classes, where students are expected to talk about whatever they're interested in. For the level you're talking about - upper-intermediate - the students should be able to handle classes totally in English.