The beginning of a new class is a good time to a global review of the tenses and forms that you will be studying during the coming course. The idea of this exercise is not to intimidate the students, nor to have them learn everything in one go. Most students will have already studied most of these forms and the following year serves to improve and build upon the set of English skills that they have already acquired. The following conversation exercises serves the double purpose of introducing students to each other and getting them to converse from the get-go, as well as reviewing the a number of more advanced structures that they will be working on during your course. This spoken exercise can also work well as a means of review. For lower-intermediate or false beginners.
Aim: Introduce students to each other while introducing/reviewing a wide range of tenses
Activity: Interviewing activity in pair work
- Ask students to break up into groups of three or four and write down the names of all the tenses they can remember including an example for each tense. You may want to help them as this exercise is just a way of introducing structures that they will be working on during your course.
- Talk quickly about the structures that are mentioned. You may also want to write the names of the tenses on the board so that students can refresh their memories.
- Ask students to get up and find a partner.
- Have the students take short one or two word notes on the questions from the first worksheet. Students don't need to write full answer notes, but should focus on replying in full sentences to the questions asked by their partners.
- Once students have completed the task, ask them to quietly read through the notes they have taken about their partner.
- Have students get up again and find another partner. Distribute the second worksheet and have them answer questions about their partners. Once again, students don't need to write full answer notes, but should focus on replying in full sentences to the questions asked by their partners.
- Make sure to point out that this exercise is intended to remind them of what sort of elements go into using English (i.e. tenses in this case) and that you will be taking your time going through all the points so quickly covered in this lesson.
- After you have finished the exercise, have a class discussion about the differences between the first person I and third person he, she (i.e. 's' on third person singular, etc.)
Questions for your Partner
- What were you doing this time last year?
- What will you be doing this time next year?
- What do you hope you will have improved by the time you finish this course?
- What do you think will happen during this course?
- What do you do?
- How long have you been working/studying at your present job/course?
- Remember the last time you were interrupted at work/study. What had you been doing before you were interrupted?
- What would you change about your job/school if you were in charge?
- When did you choose your job/school? Is there any one thing that had happened to make you choose your line of work/field of study?
- What would you have done if you hadn't chosen your current profession/field of study?
- What are you currently working on/studying?
- How long have you been doing your favorite hobby?
- What did you use to do that you now miss?
- What must have been the reason for your stopping what you used to do?
Questions about your Partner's Partner
- What was he/she doing this time last year?
- What will he/she be doing this time next year?
- What does he/she hope he/she will have improved by the time he/she finishes this course?
- What does he/she think will happen during this course?
- What does he/she do?
- How long has he/she been working/studying at his/her present job/course?
- Remember the last time he/she was interrupted at work/study. What had he/she been doing before he/she was interrupted?
- What would he/she change about his/her job/school if he/she were in charge?
- When did he/she choose his/her job/school? Is there any one thing that had happened to make he/she choose his/her line of work/field of study?
- What would he/she have done if he/she hadn't chosen his/her current profession/field of study?
- What is he/she currently working on/studying?
- How long has he/she been doing his/her favorite hobby?
- What did he/she use to do that he/she now misses?
- What must have been the reason for his/her stopping what he/she used to do?
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