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  1. #1
    mosquitobitten is offline Newbie
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    Default Intermediate students speak like elementary ones:/

    Hello.

    Recently, I've taken over a group of intermediate students. The previous teacher went on a sick leave.
    The problem is that they are all assigned to an intermediate course but when we do different excersises they really struggle. They speak like elementary students. Sometimes have problems with making one correct sentence:/

    How can I help them improve their language skills? I still have to continue with the course book, but would also like to give them some excersises to help them speak better

    any suggestions would be highly appreciated

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Intermediate students speak like elementary ones:/

    Quote Originally Posted by mosquitobitten View Post
    Hello.

    Recently, I've taken over a group of intermediate students. The previous teacher went on a sick leave.
    The problem is that they are all assigned to an intermediate course but when we do different excersises they really struggle. They speak like elementary students. Sometimes have problems with making one correct sentence:/

    How can I help them improve their language skills? I still have to continue with the course book, but would also like to give them some excersises to help them speak better

    any suggestions would be highly appreciated
    I think the problem seems to be broader than what you have described. First, how were the students placed in an "intermediate" level? What assessment instrument does the program use for placement and advancement? Do other instructors at other levels have any concerns about placement? Is there a syllabus/curriculum for each level? If the students are not receiving instruction based on those criteria, perhaps the instructor "on sick leave" needs to be advised of his/her deviation from the standards.

    As far as students' language skills are concerned, if the students cannot construct a sentence, I don't think you can expect them speak one properly. One of possibly many approaches you could take would be to have the students write a/the sentence and if constructed properly, focus then on speaking/pronunciation.

    I would be interested in answers to some of the questions presented above, including identification of some of the titles of your instructional materials e.g. the "course book" to which you referred.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Intermediate students speak like elementary ones:/

    What are the management like? Ideally, I would inform them that there is a problem and try to resolve it without being a slave to the coursebook.

  4. #4
    mosquitobitten is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Intermediate students speak like elementary ones:/

    At the beginning, students are given a written placement test - that's how we usually place them in various groups. During the first meeting, I also do a kind of speaking test to see whether they've been assigned to a proper level and if not I tell them to join a different group (sometimes students are just very good at grammar and lack other necessary skills, so maybe that's how the group ended up at such a high level).

    The management doesn't really care. They aren't educated in TEFL, they're just business people who have decided to set up an education centre. And that's the problem.

    The group has the New English File Intermediate course book.

  5. #5
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Intermediate students speak like elementary ones:/

    Quote Originally Posted by mosquitobitten View Post
    At the beginning, students are given a written placement test - that's how we usually place them in various groups. During the first meeting, I also do a kind of speaking test to see whether they've been assigned to a proper level and if not I tell them to join a different group (sometimes students are just very good at grammar and lack other necessary skills, so maybe that's how the group ended up at such a high level).

    The management doesn't really care. They aren't educated in TEFL, they're just business people who have decided to set up an education centre. And that's the problem.

    The group has the New English File Intermediate course book.
    Maybe it's time for you to "grab the baton" i.e. take charge and get down to basics. Meet with "mangement", explain your problem, offer suggestions (not only the what's but also the how's) and also the potential consequences such as students exiting the program without the skills you see as necessary.

    One way to get management's (business people's) attention is to present your concerns in terms of "the bottom line" ($), and that if the program begins to get a reputation for poor results, the program will not be able to continue.

    Finally, you are to be commended for your concern. Some instructors are willing to just "go with the flow" and pick up their paychecks weekly, monthly etc. I wish I could offer more help.

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