Author Topic: Grammar and Speaking- Present Continuous Usage  (Read 732 times)

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Offline candrsn3

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Grammar and Speaking- Present Continuous Usage
« on: February 14, 2018, 10:06:01 AM »
Usage is arguably the most difficult part of learning verb tenses. A tense like the present continuous is rather easy to form (subject + BE + -ing), but difficult to use. Learners often use the simple present where they should use the present continuous. Thus, instruction should focus on this most difficult aspect- usage. An authentic task that helps learners understand present continuous usage is to assign learners to go to a public place where there are lots of people doing different things. On a university campus, the student union works best. Then, learners observe the scene for a few minutes and notice the things that people are doing, and then form sentences (depending on the level of your learners) that describe the scene: "A woman and her friend are laughing really hard." Because grammar is typically practiced via the written modality, but is as crucial to meaning in speaking, have students record these sentences on their phone or computer. Obviously, if they're going to say something about anyone very close to them, they'll need to be discreet. Alternatively, if learners find the task too embarrassing, you can have them look up a "live feed" of a busy area- say, Times Square <https://www.earthcam.com/cams/newyork/timessquare/?cam=tsrobo1> and do the same thing from the comfort of their house. Learners can then turn in the recording to the teacher for evaluation. It's also possible to use the recordings made by the learners for listening practice (e.g. transcription).