TweetMy dear blog readers,
Two weeks from now I will be giving a talk at the Istanbul Bilgi University ELT Students Conference (check out the Facebook page here and the official website here). One thing I’d love to do is to include the thoughts and ideas of those of you who kindly drop by and read my posts. With this in mind, I’d like to ask a couple of questions here in the hope that you’ll be good enough to share your thoughts:
1) How do you introduce the third form of the verb and in conjunction with which grammar point?
2) Why do you do it in this way?
Because I’ll be discussing this in an upcoming conference talk, I’d like to include what you say here in the talk. Any replies, therefore, really will be greatly appreciated.
I also asked this question over on the IATEFL Facebook page and here are some of the replies I received. Please feel free to comment even if you basically have the same things to say!
‘I usually (have to) follow the order in the course book: Present Perfect for experiences.’
‘Present perfect for recent past, i.e. this week/month I have…, for experiences. Also, when using passive voice to describe processes. The learners usually first see them when I give them an irregular verb table.’
‘I think ‘been’ comes up relatively early on as in ‘I’ve never been to…’’
Very challenging for Spanish (especially people in Buenos Aires) learners who hardly use a parallel structure. But usually I use timelines and we mark most important events in the students lives and from there I start with ‘Have you ever …?’ (I choose been and ask many questions then another verb…) Then time line to show them the tense system. if you think this can help I could write a more detailed sort of plan for using present perfect .
‘Talking about experiences, especially in business English ‘small talk.’’
‘I usually speak about actions which took place in the past but have present result. For example, he has lost the key. Here someone lost his key but can’t open the door now. We are not interested when the key was lost; the main thing is that the door can’t be open now.’
‘Left to my own devices, I’d do it lexically first if I could: I was robbed / the car was stolen / the house was broken into / my clothes are torn etc. (no need to mention ‘passive’ initially, I think). Then, when the time for grammar analysis finally comes, they’ll have already dealt with past participles more or less intuitively.’
Luiz Otávio Barros
Here are some more responses from the comments sections below:
In Portuguese, it is hard for students to understand the usage of the third form (past participle), because not all situations can be related to our language. For instance, “The car was broken” and “The car has broken down.” – The first one (passive form) we use it in Portuguese, but the second form it is not not familiar to our language. What I do first is to introduce the verbs, than I review the difference between regular and irregular verbs, than I start using examples in the passive form, which is familiar to our language, and a lot of exercises are done before I present the present perfect and so on. I do ask my students to try to memorize the list of verbs with the forms.
I rarely teach it, per se. Its form comes up when we use present perfect or passive in a particular writing context. Most students at the level I teach are already knowledgeable about past participles (though perhaps not the meta-language), but lack the experience in actually using them consistently.
In my classes we have the first contact with past participles while we explore our coursebooks before courses begin- only a brief introduction so students learn how to use their books and, more importantly, become familiar with terms they’ll be hearing during lessons. In due time, we start working on pp first through discussion (talking about experiences, recent events,etc) and then work our way through grammar rules.
Do any of these responses seem unusual to you, or are they what you expected? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter.