What is the easiest way to teach tenses?

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What is the easiest way to teach tenses?

Postby _alisha_ on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:01 pm

I would suggest placing less of a spotlight on the grammatical structure and micro components than the other responses, opting instead for a more communicative approach (this is the name of the theory/methodology/pedagogy in question).

The communicative approach suggests that we should learn a language naturally, by experience and encounter. To teach tenses this way, you rely heavily on context. For example, if you want to teach the past tense, you should establish the time clearly by using temporal markers like specific dates and times and other adverbs, such as yesterday.

These vocabulary items will frame the language, so that the grammatical structures used, i.e. use of the second verb, will correspond to the time frame. Teach through complete sentences, for example "yesterday I watched a movie", "this morning I brushed my teeth".

Students will, with appropriate exposure, notice the -ed pattern and recognise its proximity with the past time markers. They will realise that when we use past time markers, we should use -ed verbs. Later, you can revisit to address irregular verbs.

I recommend going past simple, present continuous, future simple, past continuous for the order of approaching the basic tense structures. That doesn't necessarily mean in consecutive lessons though. You should also be expanding vocabulary and varying contexts in between each of these new topics.

In the classroom, it is essential that you maximise a) the students' exposure to accurate examples of the Target Language in use, and b) opportunities for the students to practise using the TL in various activities.
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What is the easiest way to teach tenses?

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Re: What is the easiest way to teach tenses?

Postby GeorgiPorgy on Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:19 am

The good old 'time line' simply drawn on a black board has always worked wonders for me. You can explain tenses and how to use them in seconds.

I once taught a student who, in my opinion, had been failed (I know, harsh word) by numerous teachers over the course of 20 years- he could never grasp the present perfect or the past perfect. It took 1 minute to explain both. I tested him, to see if he really 'got it' and he did! :-)
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Re: What is the easiest way to teach tenses?

Postby _alisha_ on Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:09 pm

Oh, thank you for your advise) I agree with you, that sometimes it can help. I will try to do this in practice.
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Re: What is the easiest way to teach tenses?

Postby _alisha_ on Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:59 am

What tenses are the most important for teaching children?
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