Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Future Perfect Glitch

I met with one of my advanced students today. We are reviewing the Future Perfect and Future Perfect Progressive tenses. At our last session, we finished the chapter in Azar's Understanding and Using English Grammarand I gave my student four additional exercises for homework (cloze exercises).

She came back today with the ESL worksheets incomplete. She told me that she had a hard time completing the exercises. It turns out that the exercises I gave her are from the same source I had trouble with the other day for one of my beginning students. Some of the blanks required use of the Simple Future, instead of the Perfect tenses, but the directions said only Future Perfect or Future Perfect Progressive.

I really, really must review the ESL worksheets and exercises I get from the web before I give them to my students!

We were able to use this experience as a learning tool, but she still needs help learning this tense. I'm going to use some material from Swan's Practical English Usage.

I don't think that many English as a Second Language students get much practice with the Future tenses. They are often among the last grammar points taught, and frankly, native English speakers don't use the Future tenses as much as we use other tenses, especially the past. I think this probably says more about how we live our lives than anything else.

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