Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Teaching English is hard!

Side note: my host brother apparently won his school band concert! Cool!

Teaching English is hard! I want to teach my students the rules but for every rule there is an exception. Example:

Last week I taught them the simple past (add -ed). Then this week we talked about the past progressive tense. My grammar book explains the past progressive as being when two actions occur and one takes longer. "While I was cooking, the phone rang." When I explained it this way they understood.

Then we did a writing activity and one of them wrote, "While the adults were talking, the kids played." And I realized, wait, the past progressive can be used twice. So then I tried to explain the past progressive being for actions that take a longish time. And I said in most cases they can choose whether or not to use the past progressive or the simple past because both can be right.

This was okay with them but not quite clear. So I tried to explain that it is best to use the past progressive if there are two or more actions. It is not normal to use it with only one action. This made it a little better for them. But, I know it isn't true. You can totally say, "Remember, we were talking about that yesterday."

My students are super patient with me, which is great. But a lot of the time I just think I'm confusing them. But I'm confused too. There are so many darn exceptions! So if you have the perfect way to teach the difference between the simple past and the past progressive, please let me know!

In my other class we did parts of the body today. It was adorable watching them do "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" as fast as they could. They got so into it that some almost fell over.

I had another weird food today. Peas, carrots, and cauliflower, covered in cream cheese. Disgusting. I encourage you never to make it or try it.

1 comment:

  1. i have to admit that max would probably love that food! :)

    i can't tell you the different between any tenses. sorry my friend. good luck!