Advanced Level Students in English

How To Teach English

Advanced is used to refer to learner levels‏‎ for students who can hold extended conversations and write extended texts. It is by no means a strict definition and there can be a great deal of overlap between advanced and intermediate students.

Generally speaking, however, advanced students should be aware of differences between formal and informal English and whilst they may make occasional grammatical mistakes and their pronunciation is obviously not like a native speaker, they have little difficulty in communicating on everyday topics as well as specialized subjects.

What to Teach Advanced Students

So whilst advanced students usually have a pretty good grasp of English grammar and vocabulary there are obviously still going to be areas which need work.

One of these is likely to be pronunciation. Here it’s a matter of identifying those pronunciation issues which are most problematic and working in detail on them. This will vary a lot and be specific to each student but you should be on the look out for not only individual word/sound pronunciation but also more generally in overall stress and intonation.

When it comes to writing you will likely need to tailor this to the specific needs of the class. They will all be able to compose general English texts but now you need to look at what the class really needs. This will come from a detailed needs analysis but it could be:

  • college level papers
  • business proposals
  • jargon: legal, political, and so on
  • etc

Again, following a needs analysis you’ll be able to identify those specific areas which will benefit the class when it comes to reading and comprehension. Here you’ll be moving on from a more general English into ESP territory.

Another area worth exploring with advanced students is the cultural side of language. There are idioms to be looked at, use of language to convey irony, country-specific cultural references, register, and so on.


But don’t assume that all advanced students are the same. When your DoS tells you that you have an advanced class don’t prepare a detailed analysis of Shakespeare for the first lesson! Quite simply the term advanced is used to cover a whole range of levels and you will find some advanced classes who may find it hard to communicate whilst you’ll be asking yourself whether other advanced students should be in the classroom at all!

So as with any class, carry out a needs analysis first and decide for yourself what level they are and what they need rather than take the word of another teacher.

Useful Links

Learner Levels‏ for English Language Students

Beginner Level Students in English

Intermediate Level Students in English

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