Strengths and weaknesses of an intermediate esl class

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ARUK2008

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What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of an intermediate esl class?

I'm doing a research and I would like you to tell me about your own classroom's experiences as an ESL teacher. Thank you!
 

Tdol

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What did you find?
 
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What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of an intermediate esl class?

I'm doing a research and I would like you to tell me about your own classroom's experiences as an ESL teacher. Thank you!

In my experience, it depends entirely on Nationality, or more specifically on what school system they've completed (or are doing at the moment)

Here in Japan, and intermediate student has impeccable grammar, horrible fluency (very awkward pauses and gaps and start-overs), great listening, average pronunciation, low confidence, high motivation (still).

The culture here has a lot of English in it already, some of which is quite complex.
Like everyone here knows the word "alibi" automatically but not necessarily "Greece" (they call it Girisha")
 

ARUK2008

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Thanks for your comments James!

I've realized that most intermediate students have the tendency to have good grammar. However, their confidence in grammar tends to be shadowed by -and I agree with you- lack of fluency when speaking. I guess L1 also acts as a natural pattern and learners tend to follow it no matter how wierd their intontation might sound. As regards motivation, I've realized that (at least in my country) most of the students' motivation reach the bottom in this level: most of the Language institutes have a hard time trying to keep students once they've reached this stage...
 

ARUK2008

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Dear Tdor, I wrote "I'm doing" not "I did"...And I meant a survey not an answer to my assignment.
 

Bright One

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I think they tend to participate and take part in class interaction more than lower levels learners do because of their ability to communicate through the language being learned
 
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Thanks for your comments James!
[...] As regards motivation, I've realized that (at least in my country) most of the students' motivation reach the bottom in this level: most of the Language institutes have a hard time trying to keep students once they've reached this stage...

With respect to larger class sizes, and also larger institutes, I definitely agree with what you've said. I attribute that to a lack of flexibility towards the needs of the minority of the students.
Although, in my case I have had great luck with introducing snippets of real English from movies (without subs) or even browsing through Twitter or Facebook, in order to keep the students realizing they still have much more room to learn!

I think they tend to participate and take part in class interaction more than lower levels learners do because of their ability to communicate through the language being learned

I couldn't agree more, I find nearly all my students suffer from confidence issues. Having said that it's the intermediates that really push past it and take chances using what they've learned.
Advanced students have a tendency to speak fluently until there is a slight uncertainty and then low-confidence sets in along with a real awkward pause ><

James
 

rx-f

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The answer to this depends on so many factors that I think you will have to relate this back to the classes you are teaching on your own CELTA course.

An example of why it's not such an easy question to answer:

Some students have taken ten years of classes in a language school to hit intermediate level. They might not be very fluent or confident or motivated. Other students will have reached intermediate after a year or two in a language school. Making rapid progress, they'll often be full of confidence and highly motivated.

You see, it all depends on the individual students.

Here's something to think about, though: your native language is Spanish and you obviously have a good level of English. Did you have any particular difficulties while you were at an intermediate level of English?
 

ARUK2008

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Thank you for your comments! I couldn't agree more with you. The thing is that it is always easier to mention weaknesses...It seems (and that's what I want to prove) that teachers don't really pay much attention to the strenghts in a classroom. It's happening to me now! Does it happen to the rest of you out there?
 

rx-f

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I think weaknesses are often very obvious because we can't help noticing things like mistakes. A student's strengths are sometimes very obvious, but sometimes become clear more slowly.

One thing I do to get a balanced view of my students, rather than just focusing on their mistakes, is to explicitly look for strong points. I make notes about each student, and keep revisiting and updating them over time.

Another thing is that you'll probably find you notice students' strengths more easily once you're teaching full time in a school and you develop a wider perspective from working with a larger group of students over a longer period of time than the CELTA course allows.
 
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