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How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

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How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 10:31 pm

How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses
By Kenneth Beare

One of the main tasks in any grammar class is teaching tenses. For many students, the tenses are especially challenging because their native language may lack a focus on the time aspect of tenses that is so prevalent in English. These guides have been designed to help teachers introduce each tense, as well as provide pointers to resources that you can print out and use in class.



How to Teach the Present Simple


Teaching the present simple tense is one of the first, and most important tasks when teaching beginners. It's a good idea to teach the present simple of the verb 'to be' to begin with, and introduce simple adjectives to help students expand their understanding of the verb 'to be'. After English learners are comfortable with the present and past forms of the verb 'to be', teaching the present simple and past simple will be much easier.


Introducing the Present Simple


Start by Modeling the Present Simple


Most English learners are false beginners. In other words, they have already studied English at some point. Begin teaching the present simple by stating some of your routines:

I get up at six thirty in the morning.
I teach at the Portland English School.
I have lunch at one o'clock.

etc.

Students will recognize most of these verbs. Model some questions for the students as well. At this point, it's a good idea to ask yourself a question and provide the answer.

When do you have dinner? - I have dinner at six o'clock.
When do you come to school? - I come to school at two o'clock.
Where do you live? - I live in Portland.
etc.

Continue by asking students the same questions. Students will be able to follow your lead and answer appropriately.



Introduce Third Person - S


Once the students are comfortable speaking about their own basic daily activities, introduce the third person singular for 'he' and 'she' which will prove the most difficult for students. Again, model the present simple third person 's' for the students.
When does Mary have dinner? - She has dinner at six o'clock.
When does John come to school? - I comes to school at two o'clock.
Where does she live? - I lives in Portland.
etc.

Ask each student a question and ask another for a reply, creating a chain of questions and answers changing from 'you' to 'he' and 'she'. This will help students memorize this crucial difference.

Where do you live? - (Student) I live in Portland.
Where does he live? - (Student) He lives in Portland.
etc.

Finally, introduce the negative form of the present simple in the same manner as above. Remember to continually model the form to the students and immediately encourage a similar answer.

Does Anne live in Seattle? - No, she doesn't live in Seattle. She lives in Portland.
Do you study French? - No, you don't study French. You study English.
etc.

Practicing the Present Simple


Explaining the Present Simple on the Board


Students will now recognize the present simple tense and be able to respond to simple questions. It's time to introduce the grammar. Use a present simple tense timeline on the board to stress the fact that this tense is used to express routines. I also like to use simple charts showing the underlying structure of this tense.



Comprehension Activities


Once you have introduced the tense, and used the whiteboard to explain forms, continue teaching the present simple tense through activities which use the present simple in context. I suggest thisreading comprehension about daily routines, or this interview listening comprehension.



Continued Activity Practice


Students have learned to recognize the present simple, as well as understand the form in comprehension activities. It's time to continue by having students use the present simple to describe their own lives in both spoken and written form. This detailed lesson on daily routines will help you continue the practice.


Expected Problems


Here are most common challenges for students when using the present simple:

Confusing with the present continuous for actions occurring at the moment of speaking.
Use of 's' in the third person.
Auxiliary verb usage in the question and negative form, but NOT in the positive form.
Placement of adverbs of frequency.





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رد: How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 10:54 pm

How to Teach the Present Continuous

Teaching the present continuous usually takes place after the present, past and future simple forms have been introduced. However, many books and curricula choose to introduce the present continuous once the present simple has been taught. Personally, I find this can be confusing as students can have difficulties understanding the subtlety of something that has happens as a routine, and action that takes places at the moment of speaking. Add to this the fact that continuous forms are not used with stative verbs, and you might find students confused. In any case, as with other tenses, it's important to provide as much context as possible by using appropriate time expressions such as now, at the moment, currently, etc. when introducing the present continuous form. The use of the present continuous to express future scheduled events is best left for intermediate level classes.




Introducing the Present Continuous



Start by Modeling the Present Continuous


Begin teaching the present continuous by speaking about what is happening in the classroom at the moment of introduction. Once students recognized this usage, extend to other things you know are happening now. This can include simple facts such as The sun is shining at the moment. We're learning English at the moment. etc. Make sure to mix it up by using a number of different subjects.

I'm teaching the present continuous right now.
My wife is working in her office at the moment.
Those boys are playing tennis over there.
etc.

Choose a magazine or web page with lots of activity, go through a number of pages and ask students questions based on the photo.

What are they doing now?
What is she holding in her hand?
Which sport are they playing?
etc.

To teach the negative form, use the magazine or web pages to ask yes / no questions focusing on eliciting a negative response. You may want to model a few examples before asking students.

Is she playing tennis? - No, she isn't playing tennis. She's playing golf.
Is he wearing shoes? - No, he's wearing boots.
(Asking students) Are they eating lunch?
Is she driving a car?
etc.

Once students have practiced a few rounds of questions, distribute magazines or other pictures around the classroom and ask students to grill each other on what is happening at the moment.




Practicing the Present Continuous

Explaining the Present Continuous on the Board



Use a present continuous timeline to illustrate the fact that the present continuous is used to express what is happening at the moment. If you feel comfortable that the level of the class, introduce the idea that the present continuous can be used to speak about what is happening around the present moment in time. It's a good idea at this point to contrast the present continuous auxiliary verb 'to be' with other auxiliary verbs, pointing out that 'ing' must be added to the verb in the present continuous form.



Comprehension Activities


Comprehension activities such as using photos in magazines will help with the present continuous. Present continuous dialogues can also help illustrate the form. Present continuous worksheets will help tie in the form with appropriate time expressions. Review quizzes contrasting present simple with the present continuous will also help.


Continued Activity Practice


It's a good idea to compare and contrast the present continuous with the present simple form once students have understood the difference. Using the present continuous for other purposes such as discussing present projects at work or speaking about future scheduled meetings will help students become familiar with other uses of the present continuous form.


Challenges with the Present Continuous


The greatest challenge with the present continuous is understanding the difference between a routine action (present simple), and an activity occurring at the moment. It's quite common for students to use the present continuous to speak about daily habits once they've learned the form, so comparing the two forms early on will help students understand the differences. Finally, students might also have difficulties understanding that stative verbs may not be used with continuous forms.

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رد: How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:01 pm

How to Teach the Present Perfect



The present perfect is one of the most difficult tenses to learn for Students. Teaching the present perfect effectively involves making sure students understand that the present perfect in English is always connected in some way to the present moment in time. Many languages including French, German, Spanish and Italian use the present perfect for past events. The present perfect in English covers what happens from a past moment to the present moment in time. Establishing this connection in students' minds early will help students avoid mistakes. It helps to divide usage into three major areas:

1) From the past until now: I've lived in New York for twenty years.
2) Life experience: I've visited every state in the country.
3) Recent past events that influence the present moment: I've just had lunch.


Introducing the Present Perfect
Start by Speaking about Your Experiences


Introduce the present perfect by providing three short situations One about life experiences, one speaking about some things that started in the past and continue into the present. Finally, also illustrate the present perfect for events that influence the present moment in time. Speak about yourself, your family or your friends.


Life Experience


I've visited many countries in Europe. I've been to Germany and France a few times. My wife has also been in Europe quite a lot. However, our daughter has never visited.



Past to Present


My friend Tom has a number of hobbies. He's played chess for more than fifteen years. He's surfed since he was a little boy, and he's practiced the art of the Japanese tea ceremony since September.


Recent Events that Influence the Present


Where's Pete? I think he's gone to lunch, but he's been away for about ten minutes. I know he's been to the bank this afternoon so he's probably decided he needs a nice meal.

Ask students about the differences in these forms. Once the differences have been understood, return to your short scenarios and ask students related questions using the present perfect.


Life Experience


I've visited many countries in Europe. Which countries have you visited? Have you ever been to XYZ?


Past to Present


My friend Tom has a number of hobbies. He's played chess for more than fifteen years. Which hobbies do you have? How long have you done them?


Recent Events that Influence the Present


What have we just studied? Have you understood the form?



Practicing the Present Perfect
Explaining the Present Perfect


Using the verbs you've introduced, quickly ask students the infinitive form for each verb. (i.e. "Which verb is gone? - go, Which verb is bought? - buy, etc."). After having studied the past simple, students should recognize that many past verbs in '-ed' whereas others have irregular forms. Introduce the past participle form use in the present perfect. It's a good idea to provide an irregular verb sheet for future reference.

Use three timelines showing the differences between usages: life experience, past to present, and recent events.

At this point in the curriculum, students should easily be able to switch between positive, negative and question forms. However, it's important to point out that questions in the present perfect are most often formed with "How long" for past to present usage, and "Have you ever..?" for life experiences. Finally, for present perfect that affects the present moment, it's important that students understand the differences between the time expressions 'just', 'yet' and 'already' as well as 'for' and 'since' for past to present.


Comprehension Activities


Each of these uses of the present perfect can be practiced through present perfect role plays and reading comprehension activities. It's also a good idea to compare and contrast time expressions used for the present perfect and past simple. Present perfect worksheets and quizzes focusing on differences asking students to choose between the present perfect or the past simple will also help. To practice switching between the present perfect and the simple past practice short conversations with "Have you ever...?" followed by a question asking for specifics with 'when', or 'where'.

Have you ever been to France? - Yes, I have.
When did you go there?
Have you bought a car? - Yes, I have
When did you buy one?


Challenges with the Present Perfect


Common challenges with the present perfect include:


Use of present perfect for events that happened in the past
Switching between present perfect and past simple fluidly
Use of 'yet' and 'already' in questions, negative and positive forms
Use of 'since' with dates and 'for' with periods of time




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مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:20 pm

How to Teach Present Perfect Continuous


The present perfect continuous form is often confused with the present perfect. Indeed, there are many instances in which the present perfect continuous can be used as well as the present perfect. For example:

I've worked here for twenty years. OR I've been working here for twenty years.
I've played tennis for twelve years. OR I've been playing tennis for twelve years.

The main emphasis in the present perfect

continuous is on expressing how long the current activity has been happening. It's best to stress that the present perfect continuous form is used for shorter periods of time to express how long that particular action has been taking place.

I've been writing for thirty minutes.
She's been studying since two o'clock.

In this manner, you'll help students understand that the present perfect continuous is used to express the length of a current action. Compare this to cumulative length for which we tend to use the present perfect, although the present perfect continuous can be used.

Introducing the Present Perfect Continuous

Start by Speaking about the Length of Current Actions


Introduce the present perfect continuous by asking students how long they've been studying in the current class on that day. Extend this to other activities. It's a good idea to use a magazine with photos and ask questions about how long the person in the photo has been doing a particular activity.

Length of Current Activity

Here's an interesting photo. What's the person doing? How long has the person been doing XYZ?
What about this one? He looks like he's getting ready for a party. I wonder if you can tell me how long he's been getting ready for the party.

Result of Activity

Another important use of the present perfect continuous is to explain what has been happening that has caused a present result. Stating results and asking questions are effective in teaching this use of the form.

His hands are dirty! What has he been doing?
You're all wet! What have you been doing?
He's tired. Has he been studying for a long time?

Practicing the Present Perfect Continuous

Explaining the Present Perfect Continuous on the Board


Use a timeline to illustrate the two principal uses of the present perfect continuous. With such a long string of helping verbs, the present perfect continuous can be a bit confusing. Make sure that students understand the construction by providing a structural chart like the one below:

Subject + have + been + verb(ing) + objects
He has been working for three hours.
We haven't been studying for long.


Repeat for the negative and interrogative forms as well. Make sure students understand that the verb 'have' is conjugated. Point out that questions are formed with "How long ..." for length of activity, and "What have you ..." for explanations of current results.

How long have you been sitting there?.
What have you been eating?

Comprehension Activities

It's a good idea to compare and contrast both the present perfect and present perfect continuous when first teaching this tense. At this point in their studies, students should be able to handle working with two related tenses. Use lessons that focus on the differences to help them distinguish usage. Quizzes testing present perfect or perfect continuous use also help students become familiar with the two tenses. Present perfect and continuous dialogues can also help with practicing the differences. Also make sure to review non-continuous or stative verbs with students.

Challenges with the Present Perfect Continuous

The main challenge students will face with the present perfect continuous is understanding that this form is used to focus on shorter lengths of time. I find it's a good idea to use a common verb such as 'teach' to illustrate the difference. For example:

I've taught English for many years. Today, I've been teaching for two hours.


Finally, students may still have difficulties with the use of 'for' and 'since' as time expressions with this tense.
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مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:25 pm

How to Teach the Future



Teaching the future in English is relatively simple in the beginning. Students understand the future with 'will' and learn the form quickly. However, the problems begin when discussing the future with 'going to'. The key issue is that the future with 'going to' is logically a better fit when speaking about the future. The future with 'going to' tells us about our plans, whereas the future with 'will' is mainly used to discuss reactions that occur at the moment of speaking and speculation about the future. Of course, there are other uses, but this main issue leads to a lot of confusion amongst students. Choosing when to introduce the future with 'will' and 'going to' carefully can make all the difference in comprehension. I choose to delay introducing these forms until students are comfortable with the present simple and present continuous, as well as the past simple (and, possibly, continuous) forms. This ensures that students are comfortable with the idea of a variety of auxiliary verbs and will be able to switch between these two future tenses with more ease.

Introducing the Future

Start by Speaking about Plans and Hopes

To help students become familiar with both forms, discuss your future plans as well as your thoughts about the future. This will ensure that you use both the future with 'will' and 'going to'. If you are teaching beginning level students, separating the two forms will help students understand the difference. If your students are intermediate level, mixing the forms can assist in teaching the fluidity between the forms in everyday usage.

Beginners

I have some predictions for next year. I think that you will all speak better English at the end of this course! I'm sure I will have a vacation. However, I don't know where. I'll probably visit my parents in Seattle in the summer, and my wife will ...

Intermediate

Next year, I'm going to take up the guitar. It will probably be very difficult for me, but I love music. My wife and are going to fly to New York in September to visit some friends. While we're in New York, the weather will probably be good...

In both cases, ask students to explain the function or purpose of the different forms. Help students understand that the future with 'will' is used for making predictions, or what you think will happen. The future with 'going to', on the other hand, is used to state future intentions and plans.

Future with 'Will' for Reactions

Introduce the future with 'will' for reactions by demonstrating various scenarios that call for reactions:

John is hungry. Oh, I'll make him a sandwich
Look it's raining outside. OK, I'll take my umbrella.
Peter doesn't understand the grammar. I'll help him with the exercise.

Practicing Future Forms

Explaining Future Forms on the Board

Use a future with 'will' for promises and predictions timeline to illustrate the future used for speculating about the future. Contrast this timeline with future with 'going to' for intentions and plans timeline to illustrate the difference between the two forms. Write positive sentences of both forms on the board and ask students to change the sentences into both questions and negative forms. Point out that 'will not' becomes 'won't' in most every day use.

Comprehension Activities

Comprehension activities focusing on specific functions will help cement the understanding in differences between these two forms. For examples, a reading comprehension on the weather can help students use the future with 'will. This can be contrasted with a listening comprehension discussing future plans with 'going to'. More extended dialogues and reading comprehensions can be used to mix the forms once students understand the differences between the forms. Quizzes asking to choose between future with 'will' or 'going to' also help to solidify understanding.

Challenges with the Future

As discussed above, the main challenge is in distinguishing between what is planned (going to) and what is a reaction or speculative (will). Add to that the fact that many native speakers mix the forms themselves, and you have a recipe for trouble. I find it helpful to boil teaching down to two questions:

Was a decision made about this statement BEFORE the moment of speaking? -> If yes, use 'going to'
OR
Are you thinking about future possibilities? -> If yes, use 'will'
OR
Is this a reaction to what someone has said or done? -> If yes, use 'will'

Not all uses of these two forms can be answered with these simple questions. However, raising students' consciousness of this key points will help them become more accurate in their use of these two future forms.
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رد: How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:29 pm

How to Teach the Future Perfect Continuous

The future perfect continuous is rarely used in everyday conversations. However, for advanced English learners learning the future perfect continuous will help complete their understanding of each tense in English. The essential point to get across when teaching this tense is that the future perfect continuous is used to describe how long something will have been happening up to a specific point in time in the future. In other words, this tense provides specific information on an action which will occur between now and a future moment in time.

We'll have been studying for five hours by the time we finish this chapter!
Mary will have been working for twelve hours by the time she gets to go home tonight.

As can be seen from the examples, the future perfect continuous is often used to underline an extraordinary amount of time that the specific activity will have been in progress from the moment of speaking.

Introducing the Future Perfect Continuous

Introduce the tense by quickly reviewing the present perfect continuous form. Make sure the students understand the main differences between the present perfect and the present perfect continuous as these differences are also reflected in this tense. Ask students how long the will have been studying by the end of the class to get the ball rolling.

Practicing the Future Perfect Continuous

Explaining on the Board


Use a future perfect continuous timeline to illustrate the use of the future perfect continuous on the board. The tense can be confusing as the string of verbs is quite long. Make sure to point out that the same structure is used for every subject as the helping verb is "will" followed by the perfect continuous string:

Subject + will + have + been + verb(ing) + Objects


Tom will have been gardening for six hours by the time he's happy.


This presentation will have been going on for more than two hours by the time he finishes!

Importance of the Time Clause / Time Expression

Students will be helped by understanding that the future perfect continuous is used in conjunction with future time clauses beginning with "by the time" or the time expression "by" and a specific point in time. Make sure to point out that the present simple is used in future time clauses.

Practicing the Form

Once they are comfortable with this use, it's handy to use a magazine for inspiration of various activities. Ask students to speculate on how long a specific activity will continue using the future perfect continuous tense. It's a good idea to mix up the tenses when asking these questions so that students understand the similarities and differences among the various tenses. For example, start with the present continuous:

Teacher: What's the guy in your photo doing?
Student: He's playing tennis.

Continue with the present perfect continuous to help students understand the similarities between the two forms:

Teacher: How long do you think he has been playing?
Student: About one hour.


Ask a question in the future to focus on the use of the future for speculation:

Teacher: How long do you think the match will continue?
Student: About two hours.

Finish with a question in the future perfect continuous to complete the exercise:

Teacher: How long will he have been playing by the time he finishes?
Student: He'll have been playing for thee hours.

Finally, using this form might be quite a challenge for English learners. I find it helpful to point out that if students do not feel comfortable using this form, they should be satisfied with a passive knowledge of the future perfect continuous. Make sure that students understand the basic difference between the future perfect, used to indicate an amount finished by a point in time in the future, and the future perfect continuous used to indicate the duration of an activity up to a future point in time. This discussion of simple or progressive perfect forms can help students understand the differences between the two forms.
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رد: How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:33 pm

How to Teach the Past Simple



Teaching the past simple is rather
straightforward after you've taught the present simple. Students will be familiar with the idea of auxiliary verbs in the question and negative, but not in the positive form. They'll also be happy to know that the verb conjugation always remains the same. Of course, there's the issue of irregular verbs that can be frustrating. The key to teaching the past simple effectively is making it clear from the beginning that the past simple is used when something begins and ends in the past. The use of appropriate past time expressions will help make this clear.

Introducing the Past Simple

Start by Modeling the Past Simple

Begin teaching the past simple by speaking about some of your past experiences. If possible, use a mix of regular and irregular past verbs. Make sure to use time expressions to provide context. It's also a good idea to mix in some other subjects such as 'my friend' or 'my wife', etc. to signal that there is no change in the conjugation of the past simple other than putting the verb into the past.

I visited my parents in Olympia last weekend.
My wife cooked a wonderful dinner yesterday.
We went to a movie yesterday evening.
etc.

Continue modeling by asking yourself a question and providing the answer.

Where did you go last week? - I went to Portland yesterday.
When did you have lunch yesterday? - I had lunch at one o'clock yesterday.


Which level did you teach last month? - I taught beginner and intermediate level classes.
etc.

Next ask students similar questions. It's a good idea to use the same verbs - for example: went, had, played, watched, ate - when asking questions. Students will be able to follow your lead and answer appropriately.

Introduce Regular and Irregular Verbs

Using the verbs you've introduced, quickly ask students the infinitive form for each verb. (i.e. "Which verb is went? - go, Which verb is had? - have, etc."). Ask students if the notice any patterns, usually a few students will recognize that many past verbs in '-ed'. Introduce the idea that some verbs are irregular and must be learned. It's a good idea to provide an irregular verb sheet for future reference. Quick drills, such as a past simple grammar chant will help students learn irregular forms.

Finally, introduce the negative form of the past simple through modeling. Model the form to the students and immediately encourage a similar answer. You can do this by asking a student a question, then model a negative and a positive sentence.

When did you have dinner yesterday? - (student) I had dinner at seven o'clock.
Did he have dinner at eight o'clock? - No, he didn't have dinner at eight o'clock. He had dinner at seven o'clock.
etc.


Practicing the Past Simple

Explaining the Past Simple on the Board

Use a past tense timeline to visualize the idea that the past simple is used to express something that began and ended in the past. Review time expressions that are used in the past including last week / month / year, in + dates, yesterday.

Comprehension Activities

Once students are familiar with the form, continue expanding their understanding of the form, as well as irregular verbs with comprehension activities. Using stories of vacations, listening descriptions of what happened, or reading news stories will help underline the idea that the past simple is used to narrate what happened in the past.

Continued Activity Practice

Learning irregular verbs can be challenging for students, use a past irregular verb quiz to help out. You can also use a regular and irregular past form grammar chant to help with memorization.

Pronunciation Challenges

Another challenge for students will be understanding the pronunciation of the past forms of regular verbs. Explaining the idea of voiced and voiceless pronunciation patterns will help students understand this pronunciation pattern.
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مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:38 pm

How to Teach the Past Continuous


The main concept to introduce when teaching the past continuous is the idea that the past continuous expresses an interrupted action. In other words, the past continuous speaks about what was going on when something important happened. The past continuous can be used by itself to express what happened at a precise moment in the past. However, the most common use is together with the past simple - ... when something happened. You might want to consider teaching the past simple together with the past continuous for intermediate level classes, as the past simple will be review for students.

Introducing the Past Continuous

Start by Speaking about What Was Interrupted

Describe an important past event and then fill in the details as a painter would fill in background details by using the past continuous form. This immediately illustrates the idea that the past continuous is used to set the context of what was happening at that moment in time.

I'd like to tell you about the day I met my wife. I was walking through the park, the birds were singing and it was raining just a little bit when I saw her! She was sitting on the bench and reading a book at that moment. I'll never be the same. etc.


This example is admittedly exaggerated. However, it conveys the point. Continue introducing the past continuous by asking students simple questions in the past simple about events. Follow up these questions with a question asking what was happening when...

When did you leave home this morning - At nine o'clock.
What was your sister doing when you left home?
Where did you meet your girlfriend? - At school.
What were you doing when you met her?

The next step in teaching the past continuous is to include simultaneous actions using 'while'. Explain that 'while' is used when two actions happen at the same time in the past. It's a good idea to point out the difference between while and during, as well to help avoid future confusion.

Practicing the Past Continuous

Explaining the Past Continuous on the Board


Use a past continuous timeline to illustrate interrupted action. Contrasting this timeline with past continuous for something happening at a specific point in the past may help illustrate the difference between the two uses. Make sure that students understand the use of time clauses with 'when' and 'while' to help them use the past continuous in context.

Comprehension Activities

Comprehension activities such as using photos in magazines will help with the past continuous. In this case, make it clear to students that they are to describe the event in the past. You can model this by using a photo in a magazine to describe such an event. Dialogues beginning with "What were you doing?" will help students practice. A creative writing exercise on the past continuous will also help students build their ability to integrate the past continuous into more advanced structures.

Challenges with the Past Continuous

The single greatest challenge to the past continuous is deciding which action is the main event. In other words, which event interrupted the action in progress in the past moment in time. Other challenges can include the use of the past continuous to express an activity that happened over a period of time. It's crucial for students to understand that the past continuous describes a particular moment in time, and not a completed event. Here are examples of this type of issue:

I was studying my homework yesterday.
She was cooking dinner last night.

In other words, the past continuous needs the context of another event when stopped the action in progress at the time.
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رد: How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف البيرق الاخضر في الثلاثاء سبتمبر 11, 2012 11:42 pm

How to Teach the Past Perfect


The past perfect tense is used to express what had happened before something else occurred in the past. This tense, while important, should be reserved for more advanced students as it's possible to communicate in English without mastering this tense. In fact, many native English speakers fail to use this tense on a regular basis. That being said, the past perfect is important to provide the reasons for decisions made in the past - We had invested heavily in research that's why we were able to succeed in the market ... - and imagining past situations with the past unreal conditional form - If he had known, he would have come ...

Introducing the Past Perfect

Start by Providing Reasons for Past Actions

It's a good idea to introduce the past perfect by modeling the form by stating reasons why certain past actions were taken. This will establish the idea that the past perfect is commonly used as a means of explaining past situations. For example, you could begin by referencing an important past news event and speculate what had happened to cause that event.

Let's talk a little bit about the last election. We all know that Dieter Smith was elected. However, what had happened that caused the people to vote for him? Perhaps citizens had become sick and tired of corrupted government procedures. Maybe they had decided the country needed a new direction. There are lots of explanations.

The next step in introducing the past perfect is helping student distinguish the difference between interrupted action in the past taking the past continuous and actions happening before a past action taking the past perfect. Do this by comparing and contrasting the two forms:

Imagine this: When you get home from work dinner is ready. Had dinner been cooked before you arrived, or was someone cooking dinner when you arrived?


Think back to a time you were interrupted. What were you doing when you were interrupted? Had anything happened before then to cause the interruption?


Result of Activity

Another important use of the present perfect continuous is to explain what has been happening that has caused a present result. Stating results and asking questions are effective in teaching this use of the form.

His hands are dirty! What has he been doing?
You're all wet! What have you been doing?
He's tired. Has he been studying for a long time?

Depending on the level of your students, provide examples of the other major use of the past perfect in conditional forms such as the third conditional and speaking about past wishes.

What would you have done if you hadn't joined this class?
I wish I had bought that car. It was beautiful!
Have you ever wished you hadn't done something?


Practicing the Present Perfect Continuous


Explaining the Present Perfect Continuous on the Board


Use a timeline to illustrate the relationship of the past perfect to the past simple. Contrast this with a timeline of the past continuous to illustrate interrupted action. A key time expression that should be introduced is 'already', as it's quite common to use this time expression when giving explanations.

She had already finished the report when he asked to see it.
Had you already eaten before he telephoned?

Comprehension Activities

Help students practice their understanding with past perfect worksheets, and past perfect quizzes - possibly contrasting the form with other past tenses. Using communicative activities with the past conditional form will help students become more comfortable with the form.

Challenges with the Past Perfect Continuous

Students will probably be confused by native English speakers' tendency to use the past simple and past perfect interchangeably even though the situation seems to call for the past perfect. For example:

We had dinner before we went to bed. AND We had had dinner before we went to bed.
Did she arrive by the time you got there? OR Had she arrived by the time you got there?
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رد: How to Guides on Teaching the Tenses

مُساهمة من طرف المدير العام في الإثنين سبتمبر 17, 2012 6:32 am

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Thanks for your kind efforts

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