common mistakes?

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  • sezamek
    Participant
    24 July, 2008 at 20:14
    • Total posts: 7

    what are the most common mistakes of students at upper intermediate level?
    grammar?vocabulary? can someone give me examples?like sentences etc?please
    thank you

    dan
    Moderator
    4 August, 2008 at 12:40
    • Total posts: 589

    Reply To: common mistakes?

    Hi Sezamek

    "Typical mistakes" is a bit of a misnomer – the mistakes a student will make depend on his or her first language and previous learning experience.

    When we talk about an "upper intermediate student", we are making a general assessment of his or her ability across the four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and systems (grammar, discourse, lexis, pronunciation). We may give more weight in this assessment to particular skills and systems which are more important to the student in terms of his or her needs and objectives.

    So, we might classify a student as "upper intermediate" who is very strong in terms of communicative ability and has a wide range of vocabulary, but who is comparatively weak in his knowledge of grammar, for example. Another student could have a good range of business related vocabulary, but a very narrow range of more day to day vocabulary.

    So it’s difficult to give a definitive answer to your question unfortunately. I wish we could – it would make the job of teachers easier! (although less interesting I think :D)

    One thing you could do is have a look at the contents pages of any upper intermediate level coursebook – you’ll see the grammar points and lexical and functional areas that are typically introduced at this level. This will give you an idea of what (in extremely general terms) will be new for students at this level, and what will be revision.

    There is also a very useful book called Learner English, edited by Michael Swan and Bernard Smith, which outlines common problems faced by learners of many different first languages.

    Dan

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