The first verb tenses to teach ESL students are the Simple Present and the Present Continuous (also called the Present Progressive). Although a thorough lesson plan teaching these two tenses will include the functions of the two tenses, ESL learners will need practice to determine when to use the Simple Present or the Present Continuous.
ESL cloze exercises can be used for student practice or for testing the student. Below is a cloze exercise using the Simple Present and Present Continuous.
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Instructions: Fill in the blanks with the correct verb tense.
1. Every Saturday, John (drive) ____________________ his son to soccer practice.
2. Usually, I (work) _____________________ as a professor at the National University in Tokyo, but this summer I (study) _____________________ English in the United States. That’s why I am here in the U.S.
3. Shhhh! Be quiet! The baby (sleep)______________________.
4. Don't forget to take your umbrella. It (rain) ___________ __________.
5. It (always, snow) ___________________ a lot during the winter.
6. I'm sorry, but I can't hear what you (say) _________________ . Everybody (talk) ___________________ so loudly.
7. Maria (write, currently) ___________________ a book about her experiences in the U.S.
8A: Do you want to go for a walk around the lake? I (want) _____________ some exercise.
8B: No, I can't. I (watch) _____________________ my little sister.
9. The business cards (be, normally ) _____________________ printed by a company in San Francisco. Their prices (be) _________________ inexpensive and the quality of their work is good.
10. The children (eat) ____________________ too much candy. They are going to be sick!
11. She (always, call) ____________________ her mother when she gets home.
12. Ron and Kay (look) ___________________ out the window at the beautiful bird in the tree.
13. They (feed) ___________________ the birds every day.
14. I (always, play) ___________________ on Thursdays.
15. I can’t understand what he (say) ______________. He (speak) ______________ too fast!