Teacher’s quick tips


Hi, I’m Jamie and I teach English here at The Essential English Centre. At the moment I’m teaching a wonderful group of intermediate students from a number of different countries and cultures. I find having mixed nationality students really encourages them to speak in English throughout the lesson.


Recently we’ve been going over some of the most common verb tenses such as present simple, present continuous, present perfect simple and past simple. In the lessons I use visual examples as much as possible to make sure all students can learn, practice and understand how to use the language accurately.

talking about ‘when’ things happen can be really confusing for a lot of students’

I’ve noticed that talking about ‘when’ things happen can be really confusing for a lot of students so I always use a time line to explain the correct use each of each tense.

 When I’m explaining these rules I usually draw a simple line along the whiteboard with a section marked ‘past’ one marked ‘now’ and another marked ‘future’.


Having a diagram really helps to show the students which tense is most suitable to describe something that: always happens, is happening now, has happened ever, or something that happened at a specific time in the past. Once the students understand the idea it’s really easy for them to construct grammatically correct sentences.  

Why not try this at home to see if helps!?