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Progressing the Present Progressive: A Collection of Activities

Progressing the Present Progressive: A Collection of Activities Elizabeth First The Pennsylvania State University

Progressing the Present Progressive: A Collection of Activities

Presented here is a collection of activities focused on the present progressive and


designed to promote learner acquisition through form, meaning, and use of the grammatical feature. The form is introduced using an inductive approach. Learners are exposed to an authentic text which frequently uses the linguistic feature. Activities A1

through A4 progressively focus attention to and production of the targeted form, which consists of the auxiliary verb be plus a main verb with suffix ing . As learners develop
the structure of the present progressive, it is important for them to appreciate its significance. The present progressive conveys that an event is in progress at this moment,

ongoing, and incomplete, that it is temporary and specific in nature. Further, the sense of
this moment may be extended to this week, month or year with respect to a larger time

frame, enabling the present progressive to express future-time with planned events. I am
running in the marathon this week. Activities A5 through A8 focus on actions currently

in progress, while A9 and A10 focus on future planned events. These activities are designed to be interactive in nature to reflect how native speakers incorporate this
particular aspect. Studies indicate that native English speakers make systematic use of the progressive to signal involvement and interaction or to signal detachment, formality,

and lack of interaction by not using the progressive. (Celce -Murcia, Larsen -Freeman
1999) These signals used by native speakers allude to the social positioning or pragmatics of communication that constitutes the third leg of the grammar triangle. As native

speakers, we choose to use a certain tense or aspect like we choose to use one word over another. Each tense-aspect carries a specific meaning that communicates how we
conceptualize the world around us and our relationships within it. The use of a particular

tense-aspect may prove especially challenging to non-native speakers when either their

Progressing the Present Progressive: A Collection of Activities

culturally -based conceptualizations of the world or the forms chosen to express them vary significantly from those appropriated to English. For example, in German one tense and

time-adverbials are used to distinguish between the simple and progressive aspects rather than the use of two tenses in English. Although German speakers have no trouble
acquiring the ing form, they have trouble using the two English tenses in the appropriate

contexts. (Cowan 2008) Activities A11 through A15 help learners decide when to use a
particular form and understand its social connotations in context of use. These activities,

and those in the general collection, promote elicitation of the learners perceptions as a
basis for negotiating or sketching the English conceptualization of events. For example in activity A15, consider the choices to describe the weather using either the simple aspect (stative) versus the progressive aspect (active). It is rainy. It is raining. It is cloudy. It is clouding? It is clouding over. It is haily? It is hailing. Discussing learner reactions to these proposals may help them attach a certain perspective to a preferred structure. Activity A14 focuses on conceptualizing stative verbs. Intended as an introduction to the rather cognitively charged task of categorizing concepts, the principle activity is fairly intensive and abstract, whereas, the extensive tasks suggested may help to contextualize

these verbs. Specific instruction with respect to stative verbs, as commonly used in the
simple aspect and less so in the progressive aspect, is highly advocated. Collins (2002) discovered that a disproportionate percentage of errors involving use of a progressive

form instead of the simple present involved a small number of stative verbs that can also
be activity verbs. (Cowan 2008)

Progressing the Present Progressive: A Collection of Activities

Other considerations in designing the activities included adaptability and versatility. Many of the activities are easily adaptable to feature a different meaning of the progressive aspect, as noted in under the heading variations in each activity. Further, I have given consideration to different learner styles by providing tactile, auditory and visual tasks. As learners may not fit neatly into one category or learning

style, using the different styles reinforces form, meaning and use in a non -repetitious,
dynamic manner and allow the students to experience the sense of the tense-aspect from a variety of perspectives.

Progressing the Present Progressive: A Collection of Activities

References

Celce-Murcia, M., Larsen -Freeman, D. (1999). The grammar book: An ESL/EFL


teachers course, 2nd ed. Boston: Heinle & Heinle. Cowan, R. (2008). The teachers guide of English: a course book and reference guide. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Firsten, R. (2002). The ELT grammar book: A teacher-friendly reference guide. Burlingame,CA: Alta Book Center Publishers. Ur, P. (1988). Grammar practice activities: a practical guide for teachers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

(References used for individual activities are listed under sources in the activity itself.)

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #1: Cloze Tom s Diner by Suzanne Vega Materials: Cloze version of song. Transcript of song lyrics or cloze key . (See cloze and cloze key attached.) Recording of song. (See url listed under sources.) Procedure: Pre-listening discuss what a diner is and what you might find there. Familiarize the students with vocabulary words from the song as necessary for various learner levels, such as: diner, to pretend, horoscope, funnies, reflection, to hitch , to straighten, stockings, cathedral. Students listen to the song for gist. Elicit students to share what they understood. Students listen a second time, writing down any verbs that they hear. Share. Students listen a third time, filling in cloze. Follow with po st-listening activity #2.
Variations: Lemon Tree by Fools Garden (German band with singer Peter Freudenthaler) This c loze focuses the listeners attention to a choice between present progressive and other verb tenses. (See cloze and cloze key attached. Note errors in cloze key, revise slightly. See urls un der sources for song recordings and videos.) Comments: You may choose to vary the type and number of blanks in the cloze depending on the learner level and the lesson objective. The Toms Diner cloze highlights only the present participle of the present progressive form by inductive design to be used in conjunction with post-listening activity #2. Alternatively, the auxiliary be could be highlighted also in order to reinforce the complete form.

Sources: 1.) Toms Diner by Suzanne Vega Song lyrics and sound link : www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/suzannevega/tomsdiner.html 2.) Lemon Tree cloze excerpted from Grammar Workshop by Andrea R vsz TC Columbia University Lemon Tree by Fools Garden Video in English link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCDIt50hRDs&feature=email Lemon Tree in Mandarin Chinese (#1 song in Asia) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB_KEjU-0m4&feature=email Lemon Tree in cartoon flash video w/ lyrics, another cloze version http://www.isabelperez.com/songs/lemon.htm

Toms Diner Cloze by Suzanne Vega


I am ____________ In the morning At the diner On the corner I am ____________ At the counter For the man To pour the coffee And he fills it Only halfway And before I even argue
He is ___________ Out the window At somebody Coming in "It is always Nice to see you" Says the man Behind the counter To the woman Who has come in She is ___________ Her umbrella And I look The other way As they are __________ Their hellos And I'm ___________ To the horoscope And looking For the funnies When I'm __________ Someone watching me And so I raise my head There's a woman On the outside ____________ inside Does she see me? No she does not Really see me Cause she sees Her own reflection And I'm _____________ Not to notice That she's hitching Up her skirt And while she's ____________ her stockings Her hair Is ____________ wet Oh, this rain It will continue Through the morning As I'm ____________ To the bells Of the cathedral I am _____________ _ Of your voice... And of the midnight picnic Once upon a time Before the rain began... I finish up my coffee It's time to catch the train

I'm __________ Not to see them Instead I pour the milk


I open Up the paper There's a story Of an actor Who had died While he was drinking It was no one I had heard of

PSU MA TESL APLNG484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Toms Diner Cloze Key by Suzanne Vega


I am sitting In the morning At the diner On the corner I am waiting At the counter For the man To pour the coffee And he fills it Only halfway And before I even argue
He is looking Out the window At somebody Coming in And I'm turning To the horoscope And looking For the funnies When I'm feeling Someone watching me And so I raise my head There's a woman On the outside Looking inside Does she see me? No she does not Really see me Cause she sees Her own reflection And I'm trying Not to notice That she's hitching Up her skirt And while she's Straightening her stockings Her hair Is getting wet Oh, this rain It will continue Through the morning As I'm listening To the bells Of the cathedral I am thinking Of your voice... And of the midnight picnic Once upon a time Before the rain began... I finish up my coffee It's time to catch the train

"It is always Nice to see you" Says the man Behind the counter
To the woman Who has come in She is shaking Her umbrella And I look The other way As they are kissing Their hellos

I'm pretending Not to see them Instead I pour the milk


I open Up the paper There's a story Of an actor Who had died While he was drinking It was no one I had heard of
PSU MA TESL APLNG484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #2: Post-Listening Toms Diner by Suzanne Vega Materials: Activity #1 listening c loze, copies of the cloze key and the handout Toms Diner in Progress (See handout attached.) Procedure: Handout the cloze key. Give students a few minutes to fill in the words that they may have missed. Ask students to share what they noticed about the verbs in the questions on the handout. Students complete handout. Next have the students work in pairs to compare and discuss their answers. Finally discuss the answers as a class, emphasizing completeness of actions with singers use of pour, open, see, and look versus sense of duration or continuation with kissing, straightening, turning, and looking . You may want to act out the difference to illustrate. Some students may not conceptualize the time-line question easily. You may want to include concept questions when reviewing the answers, such as: 1st timeline: I eat in the diner. Did I eat in the diner yesterday? No . Are you sure? Is it possible I w ill eat in the diner tomorrow? What about right now? How many times do I eat in the diner? One or many? What if I said , I eat in the diner all of the time/every day! (Repeat questions.) versus I am eating in the diner right now, at the moment. Sources: Handout adapted from post-reading task example on a fictional grammar tense by Andrea Rvsz, TC Columbia University.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Toms Diner in Progress


1. What did you notice about the fill- in-the blanks?

a. A common suffix (letter or group of letters added to the end of the word)? ____________ b. The auxiliary (or linking) verb that comes before these main verbs? _________________ c. Changes in the form or the pattern for He/She or I or They? _______________________
Give an example from the song of each. _______________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 2. What time period is the singer referring to when she uses the suffix ? When is this happening? __________________________________________________________________________ Who is the singer telling this story to ? ___________________________________________ 3. Underline other verbs that you noticed in the song. Do they refer to the same time period? ________________________________________________________________________ 4. Compare the two sentences below and create time-lines for them.

I eat in the diner.


Past
Present Future

I am eating in the diner.


Past
Present Future

5. This new verb type is called the present progressive or present continuous. Why? ________ __________________________________________________________________________ 6. Complete the rule to create the present progressive or present continuous: a. We need to use two verbs. The first verb is the auxiliary (or linking) verb _____ . b. The second verb is the main verb. We add ______ to the end/beginning of the main verb. c. Give an example of the present progressive with (I/laugh). ________________________ 7. In the 4th stanza the song says, He is looking out the window and in the 7th stanza it says, And I look the other way as they are kissing Why do you think this is? ________ __________________________________________________________________________

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #3: Remember what you are doing! Materials and Procedure: Refer to excerpt 27.1 Remembering Pairs attached.
Variations: Groups that finish quickly can use as flash cards and time test each other to see who can finish first. Or have them arrange the cards to create a storyline relating all of the actions. Comments: The activity is adaptable to various thematic units by the activities chosen. (i.e. sports swimming/running/playing x/riding etc.; food cooking, baking, washing, cleaning, eating, drinking, etc. ; transportation driving, flying, moving, riding, walking, sailing, etc.)

Sources: Ur, P. (1988). Present progressive. In Scott Thornbury (Ed), Grammar practice activities: a practical guide for teachers (pp. 246-247) . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #4: Editing Form Materials: Copies of handout Welcome to Toms Diner!. (See handout attached.) Procedure: Explain to the students that Toms Restaurant or Diner is a real restaurant located in New York City and featured on a famous television show called Seinfeld. Read the instructions and have students complete the handout. Have the students review their answers in pairs and then review together as a class.
Comments: This activity is intended as a post-listening activity to activities #1 and #2, though it can be used independently as well. Similarly, the activity is adaptable to various thematic units by the photo chosen and sentences created.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Welcome to Toms Diner!

A reporter is making notes about the diner. Correct or edit any errors that you find in his work. First underline the verbs in each sentence. Cross out the incorrect verbs and write the correct form on the line. Note: some sentences may be correct!
1.) The diner is opening at 5 a.m. every morning. _____________________________________ 2.) At least eight people is eating breakfast. _________________________________________ 3.) The women and her children eat eggs. ___________________________________________ 4.) Three people are sitting at the counter. ___________________________________________ 5.) The waiter is wearing a white shirt and a white apron. _______________________________ 6.) The bus boy is wears a white shirt and black pants. _________________________________ 7.) I is watching from the street corner. _____________________________________________ 8.) I am hungry! Im crossing the street now. _________________________________________ 9.) The reporter ordering everything on the menu! _____________________________________ Write a new sentence using the word or words in parenthesis. Example: I am exercising. (bike) I am biking. 1.) I am drinking 16 cans of soda because I am thirsty! (eat/hungry) _______________________ 2.) They are entering the diner right now. (leave) ______________________________________ 3.) He alway s orders the same thing. (drink/tea) _______________________________________ 4.) Please wait. They are cleaning the bathroom. (set/table) ______________________________

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #5: Picture Comparison Materials: Photocopies of two similar pictures (see attachments of two examples: What are they doing? and Find the Difference) Procedure: Refer to What are they doing ? Teacher s Notes, Procedures.
Variations: 1.) Show students a picture briefly. Have the students write down as many activities occurring in the picture as they can remember. Share the sentences as a class. 2.) In small groups, assign three roles: reader, writer, and editor. Each group is given the same photo. The reader is the only person looking at the picture and describes what is happening in it. The writer writes the sentences on the blackboard. The editor corrects the sentences on the board as necessary and may ask the writer or the reader clarification questio ns. The group with the most correct sentences wins. 3.) Refer to What are they doing? Teachers Notes, Additional ideas. Comments: The activity is adaptable to various thematic units by the setting of the picture chosen. (i.e. vacations resort, holidays family or office party, politics rally, demonstration, or parade, etc.)

Sources: 1.) What are they doing? www.eslflow.com , Skyline Resource Pack 1. Published by Macmillan Publishers Limited. 2.) Find the Difference. English File 1. Oxford University Press

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #6: Postcard - I am thinking of you! Materials: Several pairs of contrasting travel destinations as prompts. Postcards (or stationary) for each student. Procedure: Have students write a postcard (or a letter) to a friend using contrasting travel destinations as prompts. Introduce or review additional conjunctions to help them show contrast, such as: on the other hand, whereas, although, while and the adverb probably to indicate uncertainty, and therefore the use of the progressive aspect. D iscuss how showing uncertainty is related to the progressive aspect. (Notice here we begin to imply habitual action with progressive tense in the future.) Model and discuss: I imagine that you are swimming every day. I bet that you You are probably versus ?You are swimming. ?I think that you are swimming. ?I know that you are swimming . Have students read their letters to students with the same or opposite prompt. See how many activities they had in common. Ask if students want to volunteer to share their postcard with the class. Consider collecting them. Example Prompts: [You are on vacation at the beach in Ocean City, Maryland, while your best friend is on vacation in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Write a postcard to your friend. Tell them what you are doing and what you imagine they are doing. You are probably sleeping a lot ! Be sure to write small! You need at least 6 sentences! Be sure to use greetings and salutations but do not count them as part of your 6 sentences!!] Other possible prompt pairs may be: You are stuck studying at PSU, while your friend is partying in Cancun, Mexico; You and your family are visiting your grandmother for her 95th birthday in a tiny town , while your friends are all traveling to NYC to celebrate his/her 21st birthday; You are spending the winter vacation with your boyfriend/girlfriend in Puerto Rico, while your best friend is going to Vermont to meet his/her girlfriends/boyfriends parents for the first time. Etc.
Variations: Use travel destination of above prompts to have students interview each other about a vacation they are planning. Where are you going? When are you leaving? How are you getting there? Where are you staying? How long are you staying? What are you going to do there? This variation emphasizes the future-time meaning of the progressive aspect. Remind students to imagine themselves standing in tomorrow with you, speaking as if it the events were happening today. The closer the future is the easier it is to jump into using the present progressive. As a follow up activity, students could write a post card to an actual friend or family member. The writing would be draft-corrected, if and only if students prefer it. Elicit student input. Teacher would really mail it.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #7: Movie Clip The Bourne Supremacy Now whats happening!? Materials: Ideally use a movie clip or trailer that does not have dialogue. Alternatively, if it has dialogue, the sound may be turned off. As an example use the referenced clip The Berlin Foot Chase from the action movie The Bourne Supremacy. Note actions are somewhat repetitive, which gives the students time to process and record their observations. Procedure: Have students imagine that they are talking to their friends on the phone and telling them what is happening in the movie that they are watching. Give a brief example and provide a few exclamations and transition words for emphasis. Speaker A: Oh no! The police are coming. They are getting closer. He is listening by the door. Whoa! He is jumping out the window! Now, a dog is barking at him. Silence. Speaker B: Now whats happening?
Have students watch the clip. After have them write down what they can remember was happening. Watch the clip again and allow them to modify or elaborate their observations. Have the students share and collaborate their observations. Watch the clip again to clarify any disagreements they may have. Discuss as a class: What is happening? Where is this taking place? How do you know? Variations: 1.) Use a movie trailer without dialogue. Example is the referenced trailer Smile from the movie Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr. This trailer shows a wide variety of actions with many people involved. Students may be imaginative about what is happening. Alternatively, use a clip from original silent movies or slapstick comedy, though the action tends to be fast and not easy to follow. 2.) Use a cartoon, such as Tom & Jerry, which has sound effects but no dialogue. Alternatively, use a clip from a more current animation like Kung Fu Panda . First, students exercise their creativity by listening to the sound effects and writing about what they think is happening. Second, they watch the clip and write about what is happening. It is important to emphasize the two are not necessarily intended to agree. 3.) Use a clip of a reality TV show with the sound turned off, such as The Ultimate Challenge, to appeal to students interest. Comments: Activity easily ties into a unit theme through movie subject selection.

Sources: The Bourne Supremacy: video clip Berlin Foot Chase by thecarchase on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E586mYraTUs&feature=email Chaplin with Robert Downy Jr. video trailer Smile by kirsty2006dodgs on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QctcK-mWyyk&feature=email

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #8: Current Events Whats happening in the world? Materials: Large poster board. Ensure that students have access to either magazines, newspapers, or the internet. Procedure: As homework, assign students to bring in one or more photos featuring a current event that interests them. Have each student post the photo on a poster board, creating a current event collage, and share three sentences minimum about what is happening today, this week, this month .
Example: The BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill The oil spill is reaching the coast of Louisiana today. It is damaging the wildlife. They are rescuing birds. In this picture they are giving the birds medicine. Lead the descriptions of the event to some discussion between th e simple and progressive aspect. (See attached example photos of the oil spill.) Variations: 1.) Provide several magazines and/or newspapers and use as an in class activity only. 2.) Create a class blog and have students post photos and three sentences minimum on a weekly basis. Ask students to emphasize or highlight different grammatical features as the course progresses. Postings may be used as a point of take-off for a specific gram mar lesson. Student-produced sentences may be used as illustrative examples. Class discussion of what students have observed may facilitate student engagement, particularly in that the subject and the discovery are student-initiated.

Sources: Example photos were downloaded from the CNN website: news.blogs.cnn.com.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill (photos from CNN website news.blogs.cnn.com)

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #9: Excuses ! Excuses! Procedure: Excuses are a fun way to introduce the future-time sense of the present progressive with planned events! Ask students to stand in the future and imagine what they are doing in each time of the day. Model: First , I am getting up very early tomorrow. Then, I am going to class. Next, I am meeting the President for lunch. etc. To help students list their plans, introduce or review sequential conjunctive adverbials, such as: first, second, last, finally, next, then, afterwards. Ask students: What are th ey doing tomorrow? Have students jot down their schedules. Share the schedules as a class.
Introduce or review excuse language Oh! Im sorry, but I am I cant because I am Gees, Im really busy tomorrow. I am Id like to, but I am Model: A friend asked me to go on a blind date with her co -worker on Friday night. I might say, Oh! I cant because I am washing my hair tomorrow. All day? Yes, I am washing my hair all day! Why is this funny? Because the present progressive is used for temporary or limited duration , so it is an exaggeration or funny because we know it does not take all day to wash our hair. It is clearly an EXCUSE! My friend will know I do not want to go! Tell the students: I am holding an extra class on Saturday to practice writing essays. Are you planning to attend? Go around the room in a circle. If the student makes a grammatically correct excuse they are safe, if they do not they have to go to class on Saturday (or stand in the front of the room). The remaining students continue giving excuses until only one student remains. That student is excused! Alternatively, have the student on the right whisper or pass a written excuse to their neighbor, who then must transform the auxiliary to third person in order to report the excuse to the teacher. Vary the dreaded outcome for effect. Variations: Alternatively, create contrasting roles for students, where one student anticipates his friends excuses and the other student makes the excuses. After writing them down separately, they compare if they had any of the same excuses. Prompt A: You are moving tomorrow and you want help! But your friend tells you that they are very busy what do you think they are going to say that they are doing? Prompt B: Your friend asks you to help him move tomorrow, but you really just want to relax. What will you tell him? (Other conflicts can be created similarly. For example, our parents want you to come home for the summer, but you prefer not to go. What will you tell them?) Similar to the structure of writing activity #6. Comments: This activity can be a warm -up to more extensive activities using the future-time sense of the present progressive. See activity #10.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #10: Scheduling future planned events Finding a time to meet Materials: Copies of two different schedules for a week. Copies of a blank schedule. (See boxes 26, 27a, and 27b attached, excerpted from 9.3 Finding a time to meet .) Procedure: Refer to excerpt 9.3 Finding a time to meet attached for procedure.
Variation: As an introduction to using the present progressive for future planned events, report what Mickeys plans are tomorrow. What is he doing at 2 pm? Refer to 9.2 Diaries, not attached here. Comment: Note that these activities are easily adaptable to focus on the difference between the use of the simple aspect with habitual actions and the use of the progressive aspect with actions in progress. See also activity #11. Also migh t consider creating schedules that were humorous to liven up a useful, but slightly dry activity.

Sources: The activities 9.2 Diaries, 9.3 Finding a time to meet and associated materials were excerpted from the following book: Ur, P. (1988). Future tenses. In Scott Thornbury (Ed), Grammar practice activities: A practical guide for teachers (pp. 95-105). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #11: Calendars and Time Adverbials Materials: Prepared narration of a persons schedule. See example below. Copies of a blank calendar. Procedure: excerpted from p. 130 (Celce -Murcia, Larsen -Freeman).

Comment: I am n ot focusing on the present perfect tense is this activity series. Though it would be possible to include future-time adverbials, such as: tomorrow, next week, next month, later, etc. to express future planned events. See also activity #10.

Sources: Activity was excerpted from the following book: Celce-Murcia, M., Larsen -Freeman, D. (1999). The tense and aspect system. In The grammar book: An ESL/EFL teachers course (p.130), 2nd ed. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #12: Gap Filling Materials: Copies of handout Total English . (See handout attached.) Procedure: The handout provides the base verb. Students decide to use either the simple present or the present progressive. This activity illustrates the difference between the simple and progressive aspects, contrasting habitual actions to temporary actions or actions in progress. Have students underline key words in the sentences that help them to decide with aspect to use, such as today, usually, always, etc. Review and discuss answers in small groups and as a class. Sources: handout Total English excerpted from website www.eslflow.com. Handout copyrighted 2006 by Pearson Education, www.longman.com/totalenglish/.

Present Simple or Continuous?


Choose the correct alternative(s) in the sentences 1-8 below. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Today she s spending/spends time with her grandmother. They usually are going/go to the gym on Sundays. We re having/have a barbecue later on. Do you want to come? No, she cant answer the phone, she has/is having a shower. I always have/am having a coffee before I m leaving/leave for work in the morning. They sometimes fly/are flying to Sweden, but usually they are going/go by boat. 7 8 Where are you? I m sitting/sit outside in the sunshine! He always brings/is bringing a monolingual dictionary to his English class. Look at everyone and everything in your English class. Write four sentences to describe anything that is happening now using the present continuous. The sentences can be about the students/their personalities/ the activities youre doing/what someone is wearing, saying or doing. 1 2 ____________________ ____________________ 3 4 ____________________ ____________________

Write four sentences to describe anything that usually or sometimes happens in the class using the present simple. 1 2 ____________________ ____________________ 3 4 ____________________ ____________________

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.www.longman.com/totalenglish/

Present Simple or Continuous? TEACHERS NOTES:


Aim: to consolidate the use of Present Simple and Present Continuous. This worksheet is designed to be used in conjunction with unit 1.3. Time: 40 minutes maximum Materials: photocopies of the worksheet for each student.

Tell students they have to choose the correct option. If necessary do the first one with them as an example. Answers: 1 shes spending 2 go 3 Were having 4 shes having 5 have 6 fly/go 7 Im sitting 8 brings Encourage students to observe what is happening around them by asking them to describe what people are doing etc. Go around the class monitoring carefully to make sure students are writing full sentences and correct if necessary. Elicit answers from various students and use these to help students think about now, what is happening and maybe what usually happens and the related tenses. Sample answers: Mina is using her dictionary. Jane is writing in her book. Our teacher is helping us. Some of the students are talking in English. Tom is wearing a pullover because its cold. This is a continuation of Ex. 2 - getting students to think about now, what is happening and maybe what usually happens. Ask students to compare their sentences and to correct each others if necessary. Get feedback from various students. Sample answers: Our teacher always speaks in English. We usually do a speaking and a listening activity. We usually use the course book. Sometime we use the computers.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education. All rights reserved.www.longman.com/totalenglish/

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #13: Miming Materials: Whats my line? profession prompt cards. (See prompts in Box 73 attached.) Procedure: Refer to excerpt 28.4 Whats my line? attached for procedure. Additionally, the class may be divided into two groups, each taking turns to ask questions. Each team is only allowed three outright guesses. The team who deduces the profession correctly chooses a new profession to mime. The activity can be used to illustrate the use of the simple aspect in describing a general occupation as compared to the use of the progressive aspect to describe specific activities. What does he do (for work, as a career, regularly)? What is he doing (in this moment)? S: Are you working outside? S: Yes. T: Does this mean he always works outside? S: No . ? Do you always work outside?
Variation: For less advanced students or for a more focused activity, use What am I doing? mime-sequencing prompt cards. (See attached prompts.) Give a prompt to a student (actor) to mime a sequence of actions. Have other students (audience) continually call out what they think the actor is doing. Groups of 4 to 6 students are recommended.

Sources: 1.) The activity 28.4 Whats my line? was excerpted from the following book: Ur, P. (1988). Present simple. In Scott Thornbury (Ed), Grammar practice activities: a practical guide for teachers (pp. 257-258). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2.) The activity What am I doing ?, based on p.101 of Its up to You , was excerpted from website www.eslflow.com.

What am I Doing?
Who? What? How?

Groups of four to six people This is a miming activity. Mimes help us to express ourselves through actions. We need an Actor (Student A) and an Audience (Students B, C, D, E, F). Actor: Choose one situation (below). Stand up. Do the actions without speaking. Audience: Watch the actor. Guess what the actor is doing. New Actor (Student B): Choose another situation , etc.

Situations
A: Washing 1. You are washing clothes. 2. The telephone rings. 3. Dry your hands. 4. Answer the phone. 5. Write down the message. C: Making Toast 1. You have a loaf of bread. 2. Cut two slices. 3. Put them in the toaster. 4. Take the toast out of the toaster. 5. Eat the toast. E: On the Bus 1. Get onto a bus. 2. There are no empty seats. 3. Hold onto the hand strap. 4. The bus stops suddenly. 5. Someone gets off. 6. Sit down. G: Cleaning 1. You are cleaning the table. 2. You knock over a vase. 3. It lands on your foot. 4. The vase breaks. 5. Clean it up.
I: On the Train 1. Get onto a train. 2. Walk down the aisle. 3. Look at the seat numbers. 4. Find your seat. 5. Put your luggage on the rack. 6. Sit down and read a book.

B: Cooking 1. You are standing at the gas range. 2. You have a frying pan. 3. Break an egg on the rim of the pan. 4. Pour the egg into the pan. 5. Toss the egg to turn it over. D: Drinking Milk 1. You are pouring milk into a glass. 2. Some milk spills on the floor. 3. Get a cloth. 4. Clean up the milk. 5. Drink the milk from the glass. F: Shopping 1. You are shopping. 2. You see a nice coat. 3. Try it on. 4. Look in the mirror. 5. Pay for the coat. 6. Take it out of the shop.
H: Watching Tennis 1. You are watching a tennis match. 2. Watch the ball going to and fro. 3. Cheer for the winner. 4. It starts to rain. 5. Put up your umbrella. J: At the Dentists 1. Arrive at the dentists clinic. 2. Sit down and read a magazine. 3. Go to the dentist s chair. 4. Sit down and open your mouth. 5. Oh dear! That hurts! 6. Hold your mouth.

This activity can be used as a pre -reading activity for Lesson 9, High School English. The activity is based on page 101 of Its Up to You.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #14: Stative verbs in the Present - I dont see what you are seeing! Materials: Copies of blank stative verb chart. (See final version of filled in chart attached.) Procedure: Provide a word bank of the stative verbs at the bottom of a blank chart with only the category headings provided. Direct the students to put the verbs into categories as best they can. Draw the chart on the blackboard. Fill in the chart as a class by asking the students to provide the verb category and an example sentence using the verb. Discuss the overall meaning of stative verbs, as verbs which represent no change or a stable state. Discuss the use of the simple vs. progressive aspect with respect to stative verbs. Ask students if they agree. Finally, try a processing instruction activity in which the students respond to sentences that you give them orally with [okay or not okay].(Cowan) Identify with asterisks the verbs which have more than one meaning and may be used in both the simple and progressive aspects.
Variations /extensions : 1.) Create handout as an extension of activity #7 the Bourne Supremacy movie clip. The police dont see him? The police are not seeing him? He hears their footsteps? He is hearing their footsteps? Elicit student decision. 2.) Create short written first-person narratives that have stative verbs used correctly and incorrectly. (Cowan) More advanced students may determine the errors by listening to the text as it is read. Intermediate students may prefer to study the text, underlining the errors.

Sources: Variation activity #2 referenced from activity 3 in the following textbook: Cowan, R. (2008). Tense and aspect. The teachers guide of English: a course book and reference guide (p. 386 ). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. The table of stative verbs attached was excerpted from the following textbook: Firsten, R. (2002). The presents. The ELT grammar book: A teacher -friendly reference guide (p.33). Burlingame,CA: Alta Book Center Publishers.

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

PSU MA TESL APLNG 484 Activities: Focus Present Progressive

Elizabeth First May 4, 2010

Activity #15: Weather Report: Whats it doing outside? Materials: Access to the internet. Make copies of a forecast for both today and for the next 15 days in several locations. (See attached forecasts as an example in Guatemala.) If the classroom does not have access to the internet, the teacher may make a transparency of a sample forecast for use on the overhead projector or refer to a newspaper. Procedure: Go to a weather website online. Ask students to name their home city. Look up the international (or national) forecast. Discuss the weather, emphasizing the difference between simple present with use of stative verbs and the present progressive with use of active verbs. Consider and compare: It is sunny/cloudy/windy/foggy. It is 75 F. Versus. It is raining/ snowing/ sleeting/ hailing . Versus. The wind is blowing. The sun is shining. It is clouding over. A hurricane is hitting . Elicit students thoughts on: Right now vs. all the time ? It is haily? It hails? or It is hailing? Similarly, It is cloudy? It clouds? It is clouding? Have students work in pairs or small groups. Give each group a forecast from a different location . Ask them to determine:
1.) 2.) 3.) 4.)
How is the weather right now? At 3pm? Tonight? Tomorrow? The next 15 days? What do they forecast for the future? Does it rain in Guatemala often/a lot/all of the time? Or is it raining today/this week/this month? (Explore that right now can mean a larger amount of time than in this moment because it is still a specific amount, rather than general all of the time or nonspecific often/a lot) 5.) What do you think the people are doing in Guatemala right now in this weather? 6.) How does it compare to the weather here? 7.) What else did you notice about the weather forecast?

Have the students report the weather from their city either by changing groups or by reporting to the class.
Variations : 1.) Activity is easily adaptable to practice future prediction with will and be going to . 2.) Have the students listen and watch video segments of todays local weather forecast as a listening activity and use the above exercise as a post-listening activity. 3.) In classrooms where many students have computers, students could work to fill out a class world weather chart. Have them look up the weather for various locations online and then report to the teacher to fill in the chart.

Sources: Weather reports are from www.accuweather.com. Activity was adapted from activity 2 in the following textbook: Cowan, R. (2008). Tense and Aspect. The teachers guide of English: a course book and reference guide (p. 385 ). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

AccuWeather.com - Guatemala, GUATEMALA - Weather Forecast - Loca... Page 1 of 1

AccuWeather.com Quick Look


Days 1-5 Days 6-10 Days 10-15 Weekends All 15 Days

Currently At 9:35PM

Tonight

Tomorrow

66F
RealFeel

59F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 93% Dew Point: 64 F Winds: S at 7mph
Pressure: 30.18 in

Low: 60F RealFeel: 61F

High: 72F RealFeel: 79F

Sunset: 6:19 PM

Sunrise: 5:39 AM

Visibility: 10 Miles

Hour-by-Hour Weather
11pm 1am 3am 5am 7am 9am

63F T-Storms

62F Fog

62F T-Storms

61F T-Storms

63F Mostly Cloudy

67F T-Storms

Complete GUATEMALA, GUATEMALA Hourly Forecast

http://www.accuweather.com/world-index-forecast.asp?partner=accuweather... 5/1/2010

AccuWeather.com - Guatemala, GUATEMALA - 15 Day Weather Forecas... Page 1 of 1


AccuW eather.com Forecast: 15-Day Overview
Days 1-5 Days 6-10 Days 11-15 Weekends All 15 Days

Saturday, May 1 Cloudy, a couple of t-storms

More D etails/AccuP op

High: 75 F Low: 60 F More D etails High: 72 F Low: 59 F More D etails

Sunday, May 2 Rain and a thunderstorm

Monday, May 3 A c ouple of thunderstorms

High: 73 F Low: 59 F More D etails High: 73 F Low: 58 F More D etails High: 72 F Low: 57 F More D etails

Tuesday, May 4 A c ouple of p.m. t-storms

Wednesday, May 5 A s tray afternoon shower

Thursday, May 6 A s tray afternoon shower

High: 72 F Low: 59 F More D etails High: 72 F Low: 57 F More D etails

Friday, May 7 A s tray afternoon shower

Saturday, May 8 Mostly sunny and delightful

High: 74 F Low: 58 F More D etails High: 74 F Low: 56 F More D etails High: 75 F Low: 56 F More D etails High: 76 F Low: 58 F More D etails High: 76 F Low: 59 F More D etails

Sunday, May 9 Sun and some clouds

Monday, May 10 Variably cloudy w ith tstorms Tuesday, May 11 An afternoon thunderstorm

Wednesday, May 12 A t-shower in the afternoon

Thursday, May 13 Cloudy, a couple of t-storms

High: 74 F Low: 57 F More D etails High: 76 F Low: 58 F More D etails High: 77 F Low: 58 F
Weekends All 15 Days

Friday, May 14 Cloudy, a couple of t-storms

Saturday, May 15 An afternoon thundershower

Days 1-5

Days 6-10

Days 11-15

http://www.accuweather.com/world-forecast-15day.asp?partner=accuweather... 5/1/2010