Present Perfect

ESL Lesson Plan: Present Perfect Tense and Present Perfect Continuous Tense
August 20, 2009

This had to be among the most challenging of all the lessons I presented while I was a CELTA trainee. But it was the one lesson that helped me develop a solid understanding of all the tenses. In fact, just last week, when I had to explain the differences between perfect tenses in the present, past, and future to a new student, I was able to do it without once referring to a grammar book. Aaah, score! You can download the lesson plan at the bottom of this post.
The differences in the usage of present perfect tense and present perfect continuous tense are so many that it can sometimes be daunting for both the ESL tutor and ESL student. In fact, though native English speakers can almost always use the correct tenses during speech, they often fumble while constructing written sentences using these tenses. A lot of writers try to do without these tenses as much as possible, which really constricts their writing.
Preparing this lesson was as much of a headache as presenting it. Truth to tell, the lesson did not go too well (according to me) because one older student kept questioning the rules of the differences between the present perfect tense and the present perfect continuous tense. I think she had genuine doubts but she was also just quizzing me to see when I would break. My co-CELTAtians and the tutor who observed the lesson said I explained the difference quite well but I could see that the student was not so satisfied. Well, I couldn’t do much since I had to move on and complete my lesson.. Too bad I couldn’t spend more time clarifying the differences because I had them all written down on cheat sheet with me. He he!
Here’s the cheat sheet I used… I can’t quite remember whether I got this off the internet or in some book. I think it was a combination of both.. I researched extensively in books and on the internet to clarify the difference between the Present Perfect...