The Intermediate Stage (Language Development)

Your students will progress rather quickly into the intermediate stage when their understanding is greatly expanded and they are much less hesitant to speak. Characteristics of this stage include:
Ø  ability to speak in simple sentences and engage in conversation;
Ø  ability to reproduce familiar phrases that are memorized through repeated use;
Ø  ability to relate details of an event or story, identify main ideas, and summarize a plot;
Ø  ability to respond to open-ended questions that relate to here and now situations; and
Ø  frequent errors in grammar.
During this stage, continue to expand students’ vocabulary and use many of the same techniques described earlier. You can use Total Physical Response to teach more complex language and vocabulary by giving commands such as: Give the blue pencil to Lily. Point to the crayon that is not yellow. Fold the top left corner of your paper.
It is still important to repeat key vocabulary frequently and to use visual aids and concrete material to convey meaning. Additionally, encourage students to use more language by asking open-ended questions such as: “Why did you like the story?” or “How did you make that?” Now is also the time to involve students in more linguistically demanding tasks that require extensive understanding and production. For example, model language that describes and compares, then engage students in doing the same. It is also important to continue to provide interesting activities that will motivate students to
want to communicate in English. Students can participate in retelling stories and take part in Reader’s Theater presentations and games to practice their language skills.
At this stage, vocabulary can also be taught through academic content using some of the methods already described. For example, TPR can be used in a math lesson (“Point to the pyramid.” “Point to the cube.”) or in a science lesson (“Point to the roots.” “Point to the stem.”) It is important to remember that although intermediate students are able to understand a great deal more than beginners, they will need to hear new words many, many times before they are internalized and can be produced
automatically. Therefore, use TPR and other scaffolding strategies described earlier whenever new vocabulary is introduced. While students in this stage will make many errors in their speech, it is not advisable to constantly correct them. Instead, model correct language form and encourage them to express themselves. When you model corrections you will be providing more comprehensible input that students need to refine their language. At this point, it is neither appropriate nor productive to correct students’ grammar and teach grammatical rules.
Important Points to Remember for Intermediate Stage
Ø  Continue to provide comprehensible language input by using gestures, pictures, or real objects.
Ø  Continue to develop vocabulary.
Ø  Focus attention on the activity so that your students become interested and motivated to communicate in English.
Ø  Encourage describing and comparing.
Ø  Ask open-ended questions to encourage more language production.
Accept and praise student responses and expand on them.

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