Teach English in WujiA Zhen - Chifeng Shi

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Verbs are a fundamental part of speech of the English language, and teaching them poses several challenges. A procedure that comes naturally because of its manifest effectiveness, and that many ESL teaching manuals suggest and encourage, is presenting the verbs in groups or pairs. Whether through contrast or comparison, this method increases the students' awareness and comprehension of concepts such as mood, aspect, tense, and voice, clearly avoiding unnecessary morphological technicalities. In an EFL monolingual classroom, the teacher must consider the students' linguistic background to isolate common problems and mistakes and as a criterion of choice for the best-tailored solutions. In this regard, my experience as a bilingual teacher in a private language school based in Italy gave me the chance to appreciate which groups, pairs, and uncommon combinations are especially helpful for my Italian students. Three proved particularly effective.  -The complete twelve tenses.  An introductory overview of the twelve tenses can be of the essence. While the teaching literature confirms that all ESL students usually benefit from this, it significantly advantages Italian students. English and Italian tenses are organized into two different structures: Italian tenses are divided into seven moods, each with a variable amount of times, for a total of twenty-one verb tenses; English tenses, on the contrary, are categorized by time, each with four fixed aspects, for a total of twelve.  Displaying the difference between the two systems beforehand, giving the students the big picture of a regular 3X4 arrangement can aid the beginners to visualize and therefore create a solid foundation for memorization. This view is equally relevant for higher-level students because it can give them extra awareness of what they may have not figured out on their own, but it is even more important to explain how the auxiliaries used to create compound verbs are fixed for each aspect, unlike in Italian in which they depend on the verb and voice used. It may sound excessive, but this last information is jaw-dropping for an Italian student! -The four present tenses.  Showing the students all four present tenses is another valuable tool that can be used to dig deeper into the concept of aspects and give useful information related to them. The present tenses are both the easiest to understand as well as the ones most beginner students have problems with because they approach them with no prior knowledge. Plus, as mentioned earlier, Italian verbs are categorized by times and moods rather than by time and aspect. So, it is functional to use the simplicity of the four present tenses to introduce timelines that constitute a spectacular tool not only to clear up all doubts on what aspects in general actually express but also to clarify the idea behind the perfect and perfect continuous tenses, which Italian students find quite tricky. -The pair present simple/ past simple Pointing out that the only two tenses that use do and did for the negative and question forms are the present and past simple, increases the quality of the students' speaking for all levels and reduces the mistakes in low-level students' writing as well.  It is frequently arduous for Italian students to learn the forms of these two tenses because no similar use of an auxiliary exists in their native language. Likewise, once they have grasped the mechanism, they often yield to its use even to construct simple and WH-questions for compound tenses as well. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to remind even high-level students that the particular behavior of the auxiliary is tied to the two simple tenses only. In the final analysis, teaching tenses in particular combinations is a valuable aid for every ESL teacher, and adapting them to the specific linguistic setting the learners are born into can boost the teaching experience and effectiveness. As seen above, the possibilities are plenty, and finding new solutions depends solely on our imagination and sensibility even if it sometimes requires a little more effort. Regardless, if the result is a spike in the students' interest and an increase in their confidence and comprehension, it is undoubtedly worth the time.