Ideas for teaching the Present Perfect Progressive

I have been instructed to do the practice component of a lesson on the Present perfect Progressive.

Within the PPP structure, this is the order:  presentation, practice, production. Presentation refers to the explanation of the grammar point, practice to controlled or guided  exercises, while production activities enable the student to be practice after they have mastered the form in a more communicative manner.

So, I have set out to find the proper materials for an excellent lesson.  As with all lessons, I like to go first to some classic books, and then move on to some websites, then form a tighter plan of the best material.

To understand where my assigned “practice”segment is located, let’s look at it in context.

Presentation

Scrivener (Teaching English Grammar, p. 172-175) is consistently one of the most useful sources for me. Scrivener first suggests a couple of activities if we are starting from scratch.

He gives us the form in table form suitable for presentation:

I/you/We/They { ‘ve / have { been { working, living, studying, writing, watching }}}

He/She/It {‘s/ has { been { working, living, studying, writing, watching}}}

He first explains the form with a cartoon of a  girlfriend waiting for a boyfriend to arrive on a date.  It is raining and so she has been getting more and more angry: “I have been waiting for twenty minutes in the rain, and he has not arrived”.  I like this example to graphically illustrate the form.  In this exercise he elicits from his class more captions.

Scrivener goes on to elucidate some problems for the the teacher, namely the similarity to the present perfect.  He advises the teacher that present perfect progressive is relatively rare in comparison to present perfect, so it may be important to select highly used verbs such as:

working,living, doing, looking, going, trying, running, taking, waiting, using, talking, saying, thinking, making, getting and looking 

In reference to the present perfect, he points out that although the two tenses can  sometimes be used to speak about similar time frames, that we often think of a present perfect progressive action continuing if it was not interrupted. Compare the two questions Where have you worked in the last two weeks?  Where have you been working lately?  They might have similar answers and be problematic for the students.

Practice

Now, moving on to the websites, here are some resources that I looked at.

 

Songs:  You can compare the differences between present perfect and present perfect with songs.  I like the following two.  As an opening exercise,  I would get the students to listen to the song and circle the appropriate tenses, following along with the music:

U2 “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” (Present Perfect)
I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her finger tips
It burned like fire
(I was) burning inside her.

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I’m still running.

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

Rolling Stones “Miss You” (Present Perfect Progressive)

I’ve been holding out so long
I’ve been sleeping all alone
Lord I miss you
I’ve been hanging on the phone
I’ve been sleeping all alone
I want to kiss you

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh

Well, I’ve been haunted in my sleep
You’ve been staring in my dreams
Lord I miss you.
I’ve been waiting in the hall
Been waiting on your call
When the phone rings
It’s just some friends of mine that say,
“Hey, what’s the matter man?
We’re gonna come around at twelve
With some Puerto Rican girls that are just dyin’ to meet you
We’re gonna bring a case of wine
Hey, let’s go mess and fool around
You know, like we used to”

[12″ version:]
You’ve been strung up for her too long,
You know – girls will come and go –
They’re just like streetcars…
I’ve been staying here too long,
Sometimes I feel so
Abandoned…

Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah
Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah
Aaah Aaah Aaah Aaah

Oh everybody waits so long
Oh baby why you wait so long
Won’t you come on! Come on!

I’ve been walking Central Park
Singing after dark
People think I’m crazy
I’ve been stumbling on my feet
Shuffling through the street
People ask me, “What’s the matter with you boy?”

Sometimes I want to say to myself
Sometimes I say

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh

Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh
I won’t miss you child

I guess I’m lying to myself
It’s just you and no one else
Lord I won’t miss you child
You’ve been blotting out my mind
Fooling on my time
No, I won’t miss you, baby, yeah

1)Here is an example of a practice worksheet for the present perfect progressive:

http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/support-files/present_perfect_continuous_form_positive_and_negative.pdf

2)Here is a board game using the tense:

http://www.onestopenglish.com/community/lesson-share/winning-lessons/grammar-and-vocabulary/grammar-present-perfect-continuous-game/145102.article

3)my favourite website “Movies to assess grammar goals”is always a great place to start:

http://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.ca/2015/03/the-truman-show-present-perfect-x.html

4) There is a dice game using the tense:

https://tefltastic.wordpress.com/worksheets/grammar/present-perfect/present-perfect-cont/pres-perf-cont-disc-game/

All of these could be possible exercises that would lead us from practice to production.  However, the most obvious practice exercise is the first worksheet.

Borrowing from the first exercise sheet, I have adapted the questions, so that rather than a fill in the blank form, they are actual questions that can be written on the board or used as warm ups to the class:

Have you been working today?

Have you been eating well recently?

Have you been doing enough exercise?

Has it been snowing?  Has it been raining?

Students can talk about what the appropriate answers are.

Now switching back to the Scrivener (Teaching English Grammar, p. 172-175) and his suggested verbs, we can also form some questions to be done in groups.

working,living, doing, looking, going, trying, running, taking, waiting, using, talking, saying, thinking, making, getting and looking 

The students will divide into groups and take the following exercises that show the form using only thie first three working, living, doing. They can discuss the answers among themselves.

 

group 1 Your verb is work:

1)Where have you been working?

ex.  I have been working in Starbucks, and at the library.

2)Who have you been working with?

ex. I have been working alone.

3)What have you been working on?

ex.  I have been working on planning some lessons.

4)How have you been working?

ex. I have been working on my computer.

I have been working in my sketchbook.

 

group 2 your verb is live:

1)Where have you been living?

ex. I have been living in Toronto.

ex.I have been living by the lakeshore.

2)Who have you been living with?

ex. I have been living with my room mate.

3)How long have you been living in this City?

ex.I have been living in this city for four months.

4)How long have you been living in your current house?

ex.I have been living in my current house for one month.

 

group 3 you verb is do*

Questions that start with doing can be answered in different ways, using new verbs.

1)What have you been doing for the past three hours?

ex.I’ve been doing my homework.

2)What have you been doing this week?

ex.I’ve been going out a lot.

3)How have you been doing?

ex.I’ve been doing well.

I’ve been feeling pretty good.

 

4)What have you been doing to improve your English?

ex. I have been doing exercises.

I have been reading books.

Production

I think that after this, I would want the students to create their own question forms using Scrivener’s suggested list to ask each other.  I would give them the list, and then I would ask them to choose one verb from the list and write four questions to ask their partner from it.

Then I would go around the room asking how they were doing, and what sort of answers they were getting, monitoring the progress.  If I was left with time, I might go to my spare exercises from the other websites.

This covers most of the material that we need to assemble to start the students practicing. Printing out the material, I now have more than can be fit within an hour of teaching.

 

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