How to Teach the Present Perfect Simple Tense

The present perfect simple tense can be a difficult aspect of grammar for English Language learners to grasp. I know from experience that students tend to confuse the present perfect simple tense with the simple past tense. As a result, it can be challenging for English teachers to teach the present perfect simple tense effectively. This lesson plan is designed to help English teachers teach the present perfect simple tense with ease. Keep reading to locate a free lesson download as well as for guidance on how to teach it. 

When to use this lesson on the present perfect simple tense

This lesson plan should be used with English learners at an intermediate level. Before starting this lesson students should have a strong understanding of how to use the past simple tense. They should also have a basic understanding of how to use question words. Off2Class offers lessons that cover these topics, just download a free account to find out more. 

How to teach this lesson plan

Before teaching this lesson, it is expected that you have a good understanding of what the present perfect simple tense is. You should know that it is used to describe events that took place in the past, which have a result now (in the present). I recommend that you review the lesson plan before teaching it so that you have a firm understanding of the concepts and activities it includes. 

This lesson starts with examples of sentences in different tenses. This is a great chance for you and your student(s) to review the present simple and past simple tenses. This also provides you with the opportunity to introduce a sentence in the present perfect simple tense. From here, you and your student(s) will work on analyzing and differentiating between types of tenses. When teaching this portion of the lesson, it is helpful to ask students to form their sentences in the present perfect simple tense.

From here, the lesson plan will prompt you to introduce the words since and for to express time. Here you can ask your student(s) to give examples of activities they have done in the past where they can use since or for to describe the time. This activity should prepare student(s) to complete gap-fill exercises using since and for. 

Next, you can ask your student(s) questions using how long (how long have you been married? How long have you been studying English? etc.). This will help your student(s) to complete gap-fill exercises with how long and other verbs (live, know, speak, work). This is a fantastic segue to teach your student(s) how to ask questions in the present perfect simple tense. 

Throughout the lesson be sure to gauge your student’s understanding of the concepts presented. If you find a student is struggling, it is best to review different tenses before completing this lesson on the present perfect simple. 

You can download the lesson plan here:

But wait, there’s more…

If you want to find more information about how to teach this lesson on the present perfect simple tense, download a free Off2Class account. When you do so you will get access to useful teacher notes and 150 free lessons. Also, be sure to check out our Facebook group to gain insight from teachers located all over the world. Finally, we love to hear from teachers just like you, leave us a comment and let us know if you enjoyed this lesson. Happy teaching! 


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