Motivating your advanced students

Motivating your advanced students

Sometimes advanced students feel they know everything. They say with faces dying of boredom: ‘Oh, again!’. Rising up to a challenge can motivate enlightened learners to study better. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

Ask your students to prepare authentic learning resources for lessons

They can record videos, vox pops, audio interviews, take photos for discussion and bring real e-mails from their English-speaking friends.

Idea 1

Ask them to interview a native speaker about his city or lifestyle and then bring a recording to class. Others can listen and then recap the main points or the most interesting information.

Idea 2

Using their smartphones, learners can ask other teachers or high-level students at school the same 3-4 questions. It is easy to edit these interviews and add captions using video editor applications. Let them invent some comprehension checking questions to accompany their vox pops.

Let them act as a teacher

Every lesson one of the students can act as a teacher for a short activity: conduct a delayed error correction, work with a text for reading or listening, facilitate debates etc.

If you work on-one-one, you can give another student’s essay to check or listen to a recorded monologue and asses fluency/accuracy. It is really effective for exam preparation classes.

Add more sophisticated vocabulary

When I have a lesson myself and I don’t learn any new words which I consider useful, I feel that a lesson is a waste of time. Our learners have the same feeling. Broaden their vocabulary scope and enrich it with figurative language and slang.

Idea 1

Present at least one idiom every lesson. Think beforehand how to incorporate it into your lesson’s topic. Use it in your speech and your students will definitely notice it and ask you to clarify its meaning.

Idea 2

When you conduct error correction, suggest more complicated variants of the words. For example, write a list of word combinations and let the learners improve the range:

a nice hotel  

a tasty dish

a sad person

to be interested in history

Idea 3

Ask them to write down at least 1 colloquial phrase a week that they hear in films and TV series:

a word+ a sentence which contains it+ a description of the situation where it was used. Arrange a special board on the wall where learners can pin their phrases.

Use test-teach-test

High levels already know the most rules of English grammar. Use test-teach-test approach to see what areas need to be covered. The initial test will show the weak points and help to move the lesson plan in the right direction.

Give more space for speaking

Some of the routine tasks can be prepared at home leaving more time for speaking. The most challenging speaking activities that require preparation are:

  • debates
  • roleplays
  • TED talks
  • product presentations
  • telling stories

And leave some time for questions because advanced learners are really curious about language peculiarities.

Upgrade listening tasks

Use a variety of accents and dialects for listening. Change tasks with true/false statements to note-taking because this skill is more difficult to master. In addition to it, while taking notes, learners practice vocabulary more. As an alternative, make gap-filling exercise from a transcript.

How do you challenge your advanced learners?  Share in the comments and like the article!


Юлия Белоног

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