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Teaching ideas for simple present

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You can write down some questions on pieces of papers like "What do you usually read?"

Then organize the students into pairs and give each a piece of paper with the questions. The questions ahould be the same. Obviously they would have to ask the questions from each other.

If it's a lower level, make sure you model what they have to do. Make sure they can ask back after they answered, but point out that they shouldn't ask the same questions, just ask

- ...and you?

- How about you? etc.

When they finished you can pick students to tell the class what his or her pair likes to read etc.

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I think that this can be very difficult or very easy depending on the native language of your students. Some languages put more emphasis on tense, others not so much. What you could do is design a table. In the far left column have the picture of someone doing something, for example a boy writing a letter. Then you can have three tables for present , past and future tenses and get your students to describe what the boy is doing now , in the future and what he's done in the past.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scaffolding is a key skill that teachers want to use when working on the simple present with a student.

Step 1: Start with introducing the verbs in their simple present form. Provide the student with samples so that they can practice.

Step 2: Provide a cloze activity where students have to fill in the answer with the correct simple present verb.

Step 3: Then let the learner create their own short sentences using the simple present tense to test for understanding.

I hope this helps.


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I think speaking with students in an interview-like format really helps them contextualize the language. So, as often as possible, the teacher should be asking questions like, 'What do you like to do after school?' and 'How are you feeling right now,' etc. The point should be to get the students comfortable speaking the language before getting into all the technical ins and outs. Think about how you speak English, how you're comfortable with basic communication before you investigate more complicated syntax structures and tenses.

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