Learners who have reached the Upper/High Intermediate level are familiar with the main structures of the English language and have acquired a very good level of fluency and accuracy. However, they still make mistakes in some basic areas: tense usage, prepositions, clauses, and verb forms (gerunds and infinitives, for example). They also have a good level of vocabulary and have a good command of the major skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. That being said, teachers can help learners at this level to progress by taking into account the needs described below.
New teachers will find that ESL students tend to rely heavily on dictionaries and translators when they are presented with reading material, so they often find themselves giving advice such as “You don’t have to understand every word to understand the reading, try not to look up every word in your dictionary.” Although students may reluctantly follow this advice in the classroom, most will continue to rely on dictionaries or translators when reading outside of class. This is because many L2 readers tend to draw heavily on bottom-up, or data driven reading strategies. They believe that successful reading comprehension hinges solely on their ability to understand the written text in front of them.