Teaching the Preterit and

Imperfect Simultaneously
Amy Rives-Lipps, M.Ed & NBCT (Miamisburg High School)
Leslie Christofano, M.Ed. (Miamisburg High School)
Donnie Phelps, M.Ed. (West Carrollton High School)

KWL
What do we Know?
What do we Want to know?
What have we Learned?

What do you know about teaching the past tenses?

1. What do you know about how the Preterit and
Imperfect are used authentically?
2. What do you know about how the Preterit and
Imperfect are traditionally taught in the Spanish
classroom or Spanish textbooks?
3. Where do your students struggle?

KWL
What do we Know?



What we KNOW:

1 – One must recognize that the preterit and imperfect are
two different tenses, BUT they are often used together.

2 – The past tense is used to communicate and knowing the
function of the tenses allows for precise communication.

3 – Most textbooks teach the preterit in isolation and then
add the imperfect toward the end of the course.

4 – Students do not struggle as much with the verb
conjugations as they do with the function of the two tenses.

5 – To have students effectively and precisely communicate in
the past tense, both tenses must be used simultaneously.
KWL
What do we Want to know?



What we WANTED:

We wanted:

• a BETTER way to teach this concept.

• students to have an AUTHENTIC and NATURAL
experience.

• an approach that was not MISLEADING or
FRUSTRATING.




AUTHENTIC RESOURCES, TEXTBOOKS & US
The dilemma:

Authentic resources: Authentic texts use both tenses
which students cannot understand completely when only
learning one tense in isolation.

Textbooks: The textbook teaches the two past tenses
separately so the ancillaries do not offer the natural
approach we desire.





AUTHENTIC RESOURCES, TEXTBOOKS & US
The solution:
US: By teaching the two past tenses
simultaneously, we are able to provide practice
scenarios and assessments that ensure:

• students have an AUTHENTIC and NATURAL
experience.

• students are not MISLEAD or FRUSTRATED.




THINK – PAIR – SHARE

Given the examples: (Refer to page 7 in packet)
1. Think alone about the example using the
attached checklist.
2. Pair up with someone near you and compare
your thoughts about the checklist (pg. 7).
3. Share your thoughts with the group that
reviewed your example type.
4. Choose a spokesperson to share the results of
your checklist with the whole room.

Listening Examples


“Mi viaje a Costa Rica”
“Una leyenda Mazateca: El
fuego y el tlacuache”
THINK – PAIR – SHARE


BREAK

THEORY TO PRACTICE. . .

Order of Instruction:
1. Discuss the 2 past tenses (Examples pg 1-3)
time-line, description vs. action w/ cards
2. AR verbs (Examples pg 4-7)
buzz words
-car, -gar, -zar verbs
3. ER and IR verbs (Examples pg 8-9)
buzz words continued
4. Common Irregulars (Examples pg 10-12)
ir, ser, dar , ver, hacer, decir
5. Wacky Irregulars (Examples pg 13-15)
6. Stem-Changers (Examples pg 16-17)
7. Verbs that Change Meaning (most have already inductively
learned) (Examples pg 18-25)

EXAMPLES OF
STUDENT WORK



KWL
What have we LEARNED?



1. It is really difficult in the beginning
2. Students are practicing with both tenses for many
months instead of weeks.
3. Students can produce simple, natural speech and
products earlier.
4. Students do not feel that they have been “doing it
wrong” or that they are asked to “do it differently
now”
5. Students exhibit less fear because they have
received the whole-to-part instruction.
KWL
What have you LEARNED?


How can I apply this in my classroom?
Thank you for your
time & attention!
We would love to hear from you; please feel free to contact us:

• Amy Rives-Lipps: arives@miamisburg.k12.oh.us
• Leslie Christofano: lchristofano@miamisburg.k12.oh.us
• Donnie Phelps: donald.phelps@wright.edu