At upper-intermediate level you can do quite a lot with your English and may, for example, be able to work in an English-speaking office. However, when you are in a new or unfamiliar situation you will probably find it difficult to understand what is going on and to communicate effectively. Your pronunciation is probably good enough for peope to understand most of your speaking but you are likely to still have problems with new words, some vowel sounds and using intonation appropriately as well as stressing key words appropriately. Many students can find this level a little frustrating because their sense of progress can disappear. It is important to keep learning, remain patient and believe you will make it to the next level.
- This is the time to start focussing on less common grammar and tenses.
- Try to improve your pronunciation by sometimes speaking more slowly but more accurately.
- Learn lots of verb expressions such as phrasal verbs or verb + preposition, for example ‘look after someone’.
- Practise making your sentences more complicated, especially how you start them.
- Think about how to use commas in long sentences.
- Keep reading (sometimes slowly using a dictionary and sometimes quickly without one).
- See if you can read a book written for native readers.
- Keep listening. You will pick up many new expressions by listening to a wide range of TV, films, radio, songs etc.
- Review your grammar and vocabulary every week.
- Review how you organise your learning notes.
- Try to understand the level of formality of the words you know and the new ones you learn.
- At this level you will be learning many different things at the same time and making a lot of mistakes. Don’t worry, this is normal
- Try to regularly read a novel with plenty of dialogue at upper-intermediate level
- Focus on understanding levels of formality.
- Use some Cambridge English: First tests to check what you know/can do