Intermediate Level Syllabus Outline ESL

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This syllabus provides a general outline for creating courses for intermediate level ESL / ELL students. This syllabus can be easily adapted for individual classes while retaining an overall structure aimed at helping students acquire the language they need to communicate. 

120 Hour Course

This course has been designed as a 120-hour course. It could be used over the course of a year for classes that meet twice weekly, or for an intensive course lasting a month or more. 

  • 80 hours theoretical - language function, grammar, and learning goals
  • 30 hours practical applications - use of appropriate authentic materials to extend learning to the "real world"
  • 2 hours of final examination and evaluation

Course Objectives

This general outline provides a solid function-based approach to course objectives. Courses can be greatly modified depending on the authentic materials you choose. Students should come out of the course confident in a wide range of communicative skills including:

  • Daily life questions and answers
  • Basic person and place descriptive abilities used in small talk
  • Number, time, quantity, and cost use
  • Daily life receptive understanding skills
  • Written usage to express situations, give instructions and explanations, communicate opinions, and narrate and comprehend stories
  • Specific terminology use based on students' needs

80 Hour Course Goals

Course Goals and Timings

24 hours basic grammatical skills including use of the interrogative and discourse forms covering:

  • Verb forms and other grammatical structures
  • Introductions and greetings
  • Asking for information
  • Offering
  • Requesting
  • Inviting

6 hours descriptive skills including:

  • Comparative language
  • Vocabulary building for people and places
  • Communicative structures for expression of opinions
  • Asking for descriptions

6 hours English numeration including:

  • Time, quantity, cost and numbering vocabulary
  • Buying and selling structures
  • Requesting and giving the time
  • Various numerical expressions including cardinal numbers, fractions, decimals, etc.

16 hours of receptive skills development including:

  • Listening comprehension focusing on varying elements of vocabulary and structure
  • Video comprehension developing combined visual-audio receptive skills to deduce meaning from context
  • Reading skills strategies including intensive skimming and scanning development tasks, as well as intensive reading exercises

14 hours written skills development including:

  • Development of basic writing skills applying studied grammatical structures
  • Standard writing formats including formal and informal letters
  • Expression of opinions in writing
  • Instruction flow writing skills
  • Narrative written structures to express past events

14 hours of basic terminology based on students' needs

  • Identification of equipment required, intensive vocabulary training
  • Descriptive language development of equipment use and functions
  • Integrated interrogative and discourse use with targeted vocabulary and functions
  • Language formation for instruction in, and explanation of basic equipment use

30 Hour Additional Authentic Material Instruction

An extension to the intermediate syllabus to include the use of authentic materials in the classroom.

14 hours use of "Authentic" materials to extend receptive development including both classroom and self-instruction:

-Reading comprehension of authentic timetables and schedules

-Listening comprehension of authentic radio broadcasts in both British and American English

-Communicative and decision making activities based on authentic reading materials

-Authentic video materials to improve the extraction of information from an authentic source

-Use of the Internet to extract authentic materials on specific areas of interest

-Introduction to self-instruction English sites located on the Internet including pen-pals, quizzes, listening comprehension, and idiomatic language development

-Written communication tasks for authentic task-oriented goals

-Self-instruction CD-ROM using various English learning software packages

-Self-instruction using listening and video materials from the self-access language laboratory with follow-up comprehension exercises

10 hours of class communicative activities including:

-Role-plays in various authentic situations

-Debating various points of view to strengthen the ability to express points of view

-Information gathering activities concerning time, place, cost and personal descriptions

-Project development in groups and pair-work to increase communication practice

-Group generated narrative writing production

6 hours of specifically targeted vocabulary development:

-Interviewing activities to enhance instruction and explanation processes with a specific focus on basic individual vocabulary needs

-Lexis development and extension in appropriate areas

-Role-play to increase active use of targeted language areas

-Group created written reports giving instruction on various aspects of target vocabulary

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Intermediate Level Syllabus Outline ESL." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 26). Intermediate Level Syllabus Outline ESL. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Intermediate Level Syllabus Outline ESL." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).