The Past Tenses - Past Simple - Teaching Ideas


This video is part of our series on the past tenses in English. We start off the series with the past simple tense. In this video, we focus on useful teaching ideas for this tense. A great idea to practice this tense is a picture story. Here, the teacher provides the students with various photos or images and the students are asked to piece them together to make a story in the past.

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

The Present Tense can be unpacked further into four parts: Present Simple, Present Continuous, Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuou.
These can be identified by the action and time of the activity in relativity to the time of speakin.
The auxiliary verbs and subsequent conjugation of the verbs differ for each of these four aspects and also differ depending on the positive, negative or question for.
These aspects can be summarised briefly as follows: The Present Simple relates to the immediate actions and uses the subject plus base form of the verb, with the auxiliary verb ?do? and ?not? in the negative and ?does? in the question for.
It relates to habits, routines, facts and simple thing.
Eg ?I work?, ?She plays?, ?He does not play?, ?Does he play?? The Present Continuous relates to actions at or around the time of speaking and uses the subject plus the auxiliary verb ?to be? plus ?ing?, using ?not? in the negativ.
Eg ?I am working at the moment?, ?She is working?, ?He isn?t working?, ?Are you working?? The Present Perfect always relates the past to the present and uses the subject plus the auxiliary verb ?have? plus ?ing? plus the past participle ?ed?, using ?not? in the negativ.
Eg ?I have worked hard this week?, ?She has worked hard this week?, ?He hasn?t worked many days this week?, ?Have you worked many days this week?? The Present Perfect Continuous expresses an action continuing up to the present point in tim.
It is more focussed on the duration or continuity of the actio.
It uses the subject plus the auxiliary verbs ?have? and ?been? plus ?ing?, using ?not? in the negativ.
Eg ?I have been sleeping all day?, ?She has been sleeping all day?, ?He hasn?t been sleeping all day because he has been working hard?, ?Has she been sleeping all day?? A basic rule of thumb to determine the Present Tense is to look at the structure of the sentence rather than the usag.
If it lacks the auxiliary verb ?have? or a past participle, then it is not a Present Tense sentenc.

Register for your TEFL/TESOL Course!

  • 1The registration process is free and does not commit you in any way.
  • 2Anyone fluent in English and aged 18+ is eligible for our courses.
  • 3No previous experience or qualifications are required.
  • 4Register today and receive a free e-guide covering the basics of TEFL/TESOL.
  • 5All online courses are entirely flexible and self-paced. Work at your own pace in your own time!

Personal data
Choose your course
   Online Course
   In-Class Course
   Combined Course
The personal information we collect on this page will be treated in accordance with our privacy policy.
By submitting this form you declare to have read and agreed to the Terms & Conditions.