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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 30th, 2008, 02:11 am
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Default Teaching the past tense of irregular verbs

I wonder how you go about teaching the past tense forms of irregular verbs AND getting students to use them instead of coming up with some kind of sentence of the type : " I go to school yesterday."
Time and again I have come up against the phenomenon of students being able to recite the forms splendidly but without being able to really use them. Has this come to your attention too?

This year I tried a different approach. I'm still in the middle of my "project" so I can't really say anything about the results.
I started by handing out wordsearches of the past forms of the irregular verbs listed at the end of their book. I checked that they knew what they meant, which amazingly they did.

Then I gave them 3-4 handouts on which they had to match ten pictures to the corresponding past forms of the verbs. After completing each of the handouts we drilled. All this was done over a span of 3-4 lessons.

This is how we drilled.
One student at the front of the class would choose what he had done yesterday, Looking at on of the picture handouts and would point at different students in the class and get them to ask him questions of the type:" You drove to school yesterday, didn't you?" No, I didn't/ Yes, I did. The student who guessed would come to the front of the class and continue.

Then I started a different type of practice. I put on the board the skeleton of a sentence without the verb. e.g.

I ............ to school yesterday.
and I expected students to skim through their handouts, the wordsearch and the picture matching things and suggest verbs that could possibly complete the sentence. i.e. went, ran, flew, came etc. In the process they had to distinguish btw. verbs of motion and static verbs.

Other sentence frames were:
I .............. a treasure last night. (this one was very productive
I got 9 verbs from the students to complete it. They also understood why "gave" was not an option, since it also needed an indirect object"

I ........ the chickens in the morning.
I ......... a glass of water after lunch. etc.

When I was sure they had got the hang of it I let them come up with their own sentence frames and come to the board and get
suggestions from their colleagues.

Then I had them choose at least ten verbs from the lists and write a story, in pairs, starting with " Yesterday morning I ......."

This is how far I've got with my project. I'm expecting students to hand in their stories.

I have sort of run out of ideas what to do next. I would greatly appreciate some of your input, if possible.

Last edited by Manuela : May 1st, 2008 at 05:12 am.
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Unread Apr 30th, 2008, 06:23 am
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Default Re: Teaching the past tense of irreguar verbs

There's all kinds of ideas: word searches, board games, crosswords, fill-in-the-blank comics, etc.

Click HERE for some pretty cool worksheets.
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Unread May 1st, 2008, 05:10 am
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Default Re: Teaching the past tense of irregular verbs

Thank you. I've got some inspiration out of the things on the page. Very helpful.
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