In a classroom environment, most teachers often rely on a course book for their syllabus (which may or may not have been well thought through). In 1-1 teaching one is free to design a mini-syllabus around your student, often focussing on confidence, fluency, and the particular needs and interests of the student.
However for longer or more academic courses/students, it is good practice to consider the broader syllabus in English language Teaching. In a publication called ‘Core Inventory for General English’ the British Council has attempted to produce a list of key language points that would typically be taught at different levels. You can view or download it here as a pdf document (go to page 6):
The inventory has 5 sections that relate to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels A1 to C1 (elementary to lower advanced in old money). The sections are:
- Discourse markers
For instance, at LEVEL B1 (Intermediate) the following language points would normally to covered:
- Functions: describing places, expressing opinions, initiating and closing a conversation, checking understanding, describing experiences and events, describing feelings/emotions.
- Grammar: must/can’t, may, might, past continuous, past perfect, present perfect continuous, reported speech, simple passive, Wh- questions in the past contd., will/be going to, for prediction, comparatives and superlatives, adverbs contd., intensifiers (eg too, enough), complex question tags etc.
- Discourse markers: connecting words (cause and effect, contrast), linkers (past time) contd.
- Vocabulary: travel and services contd., things in town contd., shops and services contd., colloquial language, collocation.
- Topics: education, film, books and literature, leisure activities, media, news, lifestyles.