How to teach verb tenses in english

    how to teach verb tenses in english

    Verb Tenses: A Quick Guide to Mastering Grammatical Tenses

    May 29, This can be done by playing a game of verb tense charades or Pictionary, writing a communal story or building a storyboard using the various tenses. Traditional verb-tense drills and conversation chains are other great ways to get students speaking and repeating key concepts, particularly in ESL classes. You can even incorporate music into your lessons by having students . How to Identify the Different English Verb Tenses. That was a quick review of the verb tenses in English. Now lets learn some keys to keep in mind to differentiate between them and to know when and how to use each one. The Moment in Time When the Action Occurs. First, we need to identify the time in which the action of the verb is occurring.

    Last Updated: September 5, References. This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD. There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 38, times. The English language is challenging in many ways, and its large number of verb tenses can be particularly difficult to learn. Whether you're teaching native speakers or ESL students, the key in teaching verb tenses is to simplify the process and connect it to their everyday experiences.

    Focus on the time frames past, present, and future that are easily grasped, and use lots of relatable activities and fun games to introduce verb tenses effectively.

    Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue. No account yet? Create an account. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article methods. Related Articles. Method 1 of Provide a quick overview of the entire system of tenses.

    Draw a grid on the board, for instance, that identifies all the tenses you'll be teaching. In a more advanced class, you can also use a grid to introduce 16 verb tenses. Focus on a single time frame, such as the present. After identifying the entire system, narrow your focus to 1 of the 3 time frames. The present time frame makes a good starting point, since it is often the easiest for students to immediately comprehend. This runs counter to methods that focus, for example, on the simple past, simple present, and simple future at once e.

    The reasoning behind this is the assumption that students are better able to follow along when you stay in a single time frame. After all, when you tell a story, you tend to stay in the same time frame throughout. Discuss the tenses within that time frame in relation to each other. All 3 refer to something that continues to be true in the present moment, but each presents distinct information. Incorporate frequent reviews as you move onto the other 2 time frames.

    As you advance from one time frame to the next, make sure to circle back regularly to review previously-covered time frames and tenses. This reinforces the connections across time frames. Method 2 of Begin with a timeline that emphasizes past, present, and future. ESL English as a second language students often struggle with English verb tenses because many other languages don't use so many different tenses. While particularly useful for ESL students, this timeline approach can also help native English speakers grasp verb tenses more quickly.

    Reinforce that all English tenses fit into 1 of these what is pimecrolimus cream used for time frames. Any action you describe--like eating, playing, or thinking--must fit into 1 of 3 time frames: now, before now, or after now. Explain to your students that even English, with its large number of verb tenses, follows this simple truth.

    After that, what is the length of an nba court introducing specific tenses along the timeline. Well, I can drink coffee now, before now, or after now. Introduce the present continuous tense first, then the present simple. As you introduce verb tenses, locate them along your past-present-future timeline. Determine which tenses must be mastered, and which require only proficiency. While it's ideal for any student to master all of the English verb tenses, some are more vital than others for everyday language proficiency.

    Introduce every tense, but prioritize those that will be most beneficial for your students, ESL or otherwise. They should how to calculate an npv proficient with the future continuous, present perfect, and present perfect continuous tenses.

    Method 3 of Go back and forth with your students, providing interesting examples. Personalize the learning experience by drawing from familiar examples in your life, then ask the students to draw from their own lives in turn. This helps the students connect the verb tenses you're introducing to the ways they already think about and use language in their everyday lives. In fact, I drive to work every school morning.

    Can you name some things you did this morning, and things you do every morning? Provide authentic opportunities to practice verb tenses. In this case, authenticity means relevant and personalized, rather than abstract and disconnected. Have your students write up a recap of what they did yesterday, or create a schedule for what they'll do tomorrow.

    Ask them to give directions to their home, favorite restaurant, etc. Anything you can do to connect them to the lives and experiences of your students will help. Play group games to help identify specific verb tenses. Gathering your class together as a group to play a familiar game can make learning verb tenses easier and more fun. Also, certain games are particularly useful in teaching certain aspects of verb tenses.

    Use storyboards to help practice past tenses. Create a storyboard by drawing or cutting out several pictures that, when combined, tell a simple story. Jumble up the pictures and attach them to the board. Have you students put the what are the causes of avalanches back in the proper order, but require them to tell you what happened both before and after each picture they want to move.

    Get creative what is personal liability insurance on a home making up your storyboard! Make narrative story cards for your students to complete and arrange. Make up a narrative story that is described in 16 sentences. Type each sentence onto a card and cut it out. On the other side of the card, use the same sentence, but don't provide the correct verb tense.

    Your students can first arrange the story cards in the proper order, then play using the tense-free side of the cards and provide the proper verb tenses. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Related wikiHows How to. How to. More References 6. About This Article. Co-authored by:. Christopher Taylor, PhD. Co-authors: 4. Updated: September 5, Categories: Teaching English. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 38, times. Thank you.

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    What are the English Verb Tenses?

    Dec 06, Tenses are a concept that has made a lot of people very tense since they started learning English! (Please excuse the pun!) On a more serious note though, if we are able to understand these concepts and how they work instead of mugging up these rules and trying to memorize them, our problems are SOLVED!. Tenses give us the timeline of the action, basis the form of the verb used.

    And with good cause: there are thirteen verb tenses in English, if you look at tense as ways to discuss time. The English-speaking world is obsessed with time and its passage: clocks of various types are ubiquitous in most English-speaking countries; a watch is still considered a fine gift marking the passage into adulthood; tardiness is frowned on, and so forth. This value of time may be why so much attention is given to verb tense instruction: given our obsession with time, we need a way to talk about it.

    So the attention to verb tenses is not the problem. I suspect, however, something else is going onthere is a problem with the sequence of instruction. Rather than plowing through simple present , then simple past , and simple future , because supposedly these are easier to learn, I suggest all of the present tenses be taught together, then all of the past, and then future. Why should the tenses be taught in this manner? Language learning, like learning in general, occurs in relation to other learning.

    Even if the assignment calls on the use of mostly the simple present, students can write more, and write more correctly, with other present tense verbs, like the continuous and the perfect. Verbs in English actually have two parts: the time and the aspect, or way of looking at that time. So, for example, within the present time frame, there are three aspects commonly used: simple, continuous, and perfect.

    Give students an overview of the entire verb system in the different time frames. The purpose of this is not to get students to learn or memorize the material right away but to get an overview of this variety of tenses and see how they relate to each other. I find it helpful to put the time frame across the top of the board or handout and the aspect down the side:. Students will get an overview of the various tenses with a chart like this. I keep it simple on a chart like this, whose purpose is just to introduce students to this complex system, not addressing for now variations of these basic tenses like the perfect progressive: I have been walking.

    When introducing these tenses, stay in one tense at a time, practicing its form and meaning, as you would have before, but keep showing the tenses in relation to each other, keep referring back to the chart. Meaning is learned best in context and how an item relates to the overall picture. Give plenty of authentic opportunities to practice : have students tell a story, plan out a schedule, give a series of directions in writing, and so forth, all authentic writing tasks that highlight different verb tenses.

    Understanding verb tense is indeed developmental, in the sense that it takes time and practice to really understand the tenses in English , more than passing a test will show, so continually revisiting the tenses will help students in this process.

    If you enjoyed this article, please help spread it by clicking one of those sharing buttons below. And if you are interested in more, you should follow our Facebook page where we share more about creative, non-boring ways to teach English. Related Categories. Get the Entire BusyTeacher Library:. Dramatically Improve the Way You Teach. Save hours of lesson preparation time with the Entire BusyTeacher Library. That's 4, pages filled with thousands of practical activities and tips that you can start using today.

    Popular articles like this. Verb Tense Worksheets. Reported Speech. How to Teach the Present Continuous Tense 0 , 0. Present Continuous. But We Have No Future! Please wait Past, Present, Future Teaching the Verb Tense System by Stacia Levy , views Verb tenses receive a lot of attention in English instructionin fact, they receive perhaps more attention than any other aspect of grammar. There are multiple reasons tenses should be taught within a time frame.


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