Teaching and Explaning Verbs and Tenses

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Re: Teaching and Explaning Verbs and Tenses

Unread postby teachduygu » 19 May 2012, 14:04

Hi,
I applied to a language course to teach English and they asked me to come in on May 22 and be ready for a mock lesson.
I was asked to prepare a five- minute lesson plan for May 22. the subject is comparing simple past and past perfect tenses. age level is adult. I don't want to teach the grammar rules directly. How can I make students discover the rules themselves, listen, read and write in five minutes? Can you help me in this?
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Re: Teaching and Explaning Verbs and Tenses

Unread postby schetin » 19 May 2012, 15:26

One thing you've got to do is to show your students the difference between Present and Past, since both are Perfect. Tenses are always indicated by the first verb of the Predicate, namely, by the finite form.
If the talk is about past events, then the Past is more in tune; otherwise, the Present is more appropriate (be it Indefinite, Perfect or/and Continuous).
The point is your students should in the first place understand that Perfect is not a tense in any way. It doesn't tell whether an action or state took place; it means the consequence of that action/state, be the consequence in the past or in the present.
In other words:
>Past = Past Perfect
>Present = Present Perfect.
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Re: Teaching and Explaning Verbs and Tenses

Unread postby Alex Case » 19 May 2012, 22:52

I found that explanation rather confusing. Here is my attempt:

Perfect tenses always link two times in some way. The Present Perfect in some way links the present and past, and the Past Perfect in some way links two past times. For example, when we say "I had already been there", the "already" is linking the previous time I had mentioned with the first time I went there. A different but related meaning is "I had been there for ten minutes when...", which links together the time I arrived and the time something happened.

It is just about possible to elicit this general meaning of the Past Perfect in five minutes, but there is no way you could fit any practice into that time, let alone skills work.
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Re: Teaching and Explaning Verbs and Tenses

Unread postby schetin » 20 May 2012, 00:03

My reply was not quite to the point since the question was about telling the Past Indefinite (Simple) and the Past Perfect. The difference seems pretty evident: when you don't define the Aspect, it's the Past Indefinite (or the Past Simple); when you define the Aspect (or "link the before-the-past with the past"), it's the Past Perfect.
You shouldn't waste time lecturing on the students or else you won't have time for checking understanding. Introduce an event in the past, set a point in the past on a scale and any event before that point will be the Past Perfect, when linked to that point (in most cases, it will, as long as the Past tense is concerned, so you don't have to show your students the link).
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