This activity can be done by individual or somebody else. They refer to what is going on at a time of observation guessing, talking and so on. This is PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE or PROGRESSIVE ASPECT

The student should be able to talk about activities being done by oneself and other creatures/things. The focus of this sub topic is centered on the ways students express the things or activities are actively taking place at the time of speaking. It is all about discussion of the present progressive tense.



As a teacher, begins a lesson by taking giving students to the simple experiences they are going to have in the lesson. Because the lesson is mostly about ongoing activities, you can ask them to mention all activities that are being carried out at a particular moment in the class. Discuss with them on the answers they have provided and tell them that these are the ongoing activities they will learn today.

Students are then introduced to the meaning of the present continuous tense which is used to express ongoing activities. Present continuous tense expresses something or event which is happening now, and the activities that are going to happen in the near future. When the students understand the meaning, now they can be taken to another activity where they learn how this type of tense looks like in a sentence by reading various passages or dialogues.


Here the teacher needs to guide students to read a passage or a dialogue he/she has created about the particular kind of tense. In this passage or dialogue, students are going to experience how the tense looks like in a sentence, then the questions are to be followed to help them identify the particular tense sentences.

The Passage.

It is on Saturday in the house of David. David is Beatrice’s father. Beatrice is cleaning the house. Her mother is cooking chapatti for breakfast. David is sorting out the firewood. He is placing them at a good place for them. Beatrice is also arranging the furniture and other house things in the house. She is even removing some cobwebs at the ceiling body. Beatrice’s mother is also washing some cups for the tea.

Comprehension Questions:

  • What is Beatrice doing? She is cleaning the house.
  • Is Beatrice’s mother cooking breakfast? Yes, she is cooking breakfast.
  • Is Beatrice removing some cobwebs? Yes, she is removing some cobwebs.
  • Is Beatrice sorting out the firewood? No, Beatrice is not sorting out the firewood.
  • Is David cooking breakfast? No, he is not cooking the breakfast.
  • Is Beatrice cooking breakfast? No, she is not cooking breakfast.


This activity requires a teacher to introduce the students to the following Aspects:

     (1)   Common or Key words: Introduce students to the common or key words that are generally used when expressing ongoing activities. Some of the key words are:

Right now


In this moment

At the moment


This week

This Monday


     (2)   Affirmative forms of present continuous tense: These are the present continuous sentences that are only statements. They are not questions, but merely statements.

AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCE PATTERNSubject+Verb To Be+ Vern –Ing + the rest of the sentence…. The important thing is that after the ‘Verb To Be’ is written before the main verb.


I am going to watch movie today.

Asha is cooking ugali right now.

We are doing homework in this moment.

Daniel is studying in the library.


These affirmative sentences can be contracted as in ‘I’m going to watch movie today’, for the quick pronunciation of the sentences.

      (3)   Negative forms of present continuous tense: These are the present continuous sentences that are written in negatively or in negative forms. They are the same statements but in negative forms.

NEGATIVE SENTENCE PATTERNSubject+Verb To Be(negative)+Verb =Ing+the rest of the sentence. Remember that the main verb is always written with ‘ing’.


I am not going to watch movie today.

Asha is not cooking ugali right now.

We are not doing homework in this moment.

Daniel is not studying in the library.

Note: These negative sentences can be contracted as in ‘I’m not going to watch movie today’, for the quick pronunciation of the sentences.

     (4)   Interrogative forms of present continuous tense: These are the present continuous forms in which questions can be asked. They form questions.

INTERROGATIVE SENTENCE PATTERN: Verb To Be+Subject+Verb –Ing +the rest of the sentence…… Remember that these interrogative questions should have a question mark at the end.


Am I going to watch the movie today?

Is Asha cooking ugali right now?

Are we doing homework in this moment?

Is Daniel studying in the library?

ALSO, these interrogative questions can be asked in negative forms such as;

Am I not going to watch movie today?

Is Asha not cooking ugali right now?

Are not doing homework in this moment?

Is Daniel not studying in the library?

     (5)   Pronunciation Practice.

The teacher guides students to the proper pronunciation of some of the contracted forms used in this sub topic. These help students to master spoken English as they are required to speak quickly in some circumstances. Some of the contracted forms found in the sub topic are those which are combined with pronouns and verbs:

I’m = for I am

You’re =for you are

He’s = for he is

She’s for = she is

A teacher should guide them to the pronunciation drills so that they can master them well.


Discuss with the students these patterns and give them more activities so that they can familiarize with them easily. Here the students are arranged or grouped into pairs so that they can practice what they have learnt more interactively.

A teacher should be creative in this part. He/she can introduce activities like talking in pairs or he/she can teach this by using various games he/she has created.

For example, a teacher can play a short video in which there are various activities. In groups, let students describe the ongoing activities in that particular video. You may stop or pause the video and let each pair or group tell your or present what they have observed and report them in present continuous tense.


Arrange students in manageable groups and guide them to write ongoing activities according to the pictures you are going to display to them. Tell them to write not less than five sentences or according to the pictures shown to them. Make sure they follow the guides and patterns you have told them to do especially when you corrected them after the outdoor activities.

STRUCTURAL PRACTICE: Forms and Functions Found In The Sub Topic:

This sub topic is accompanied with the following Grammar Practices. In this section, a teacher can introduce the students to the following grammatical structures:

  •   Present continuous tense. This is introduced to the students in brief and by means of questions because they have already discussed the matter.
  •   Present Participle. This is one of the principal part of any verb.
  •   Nouns with –ing forms. Here they are introduced to the nouns with –ing forms, or gerunds.
  •   Adjectives with -ing forms. There is also adjectives that end with –ing forms.


      (1)   Present Continuous Tense

Present Continuous tense is a tense in which a speaker talks about current activities, that is activities that are taking place as he/she sees them. Tell the students that in any conversation, people may talk about things or activities that are happening right now or at the time of speaking.

Also it is a good idea to teach the students how questions are asked when someone want to know what is going on at a particular moment.

Guide the students with these questions. Allow them to give you correct responses:

  • As a teacher, walk around the classroom and ask the students, ‘What am I doing’?
  • Write on the blackboard and ask them, ‘What am I doing’?
  • Start opening the pages of the book and ask them, ‘What am I doing’?
  • Rub the blackboard and ask them, ‘What am I doing’?
  • Start going out towards the door and ask them, ‘What am I doing’?
  • The sample answer to the students should be like this: “You are (action the teacher is performing). For example, You are writing or You are writing on the blackboard.

If a question on present continuous tense is asked in that way, the students should be guided to alternate these sentences so that they fit the particular circumstances. In this case, other questions may go this way:

What is he doing?

What are they doing?

What is Asha doing?

What is it doing?

The answers should make a good agreement between a pronoun  and a verb. So the questions above should be answered correctly like this:

He is watering flowers (NOT: He is water flower).

Asha is sweeping the classroom (NOT: Asha are sweeping the classroom), and the like.

After introducing students to the present continuous verb forms and present continuous sentence structures, now take the students outside the classroom and ask them to observe the activities that are being done for the particular moment. They should take an exercise book and a pen with them.  Let each student record in his/her exercise book not less than five sentences on the ongoing activities he/she has seen while they are still outside.

Introduce the Rules on Present Continuous Tense

After coming back to the class, mark their works and emphasize the lesson with the rules to be applied when they are to have good present continuous tense sentence structures or patterns.

In forming a present continuous tense use the following structure:

SUBJECT+VERB (TO BE)+APPROPRIATE PARTICIPLE (the –ing form of the verb).


Provide some examples to match the structure above and students should take a look at their earlier examples they took outside if they are correct:

I am watering flowers right now.

I am writing a letter to my friend.

She is cooking lunch.

The boy is running.

The cows are passing.

The students should be reminded that a sentence can be extended by adding objects, prepositions, adverbs and other structures appropriately.

Uses of Present Continuous Tense.

Present continuous tense is used for:

(1)   Expressing current activities. Asha is sweeping the floor.

(2)   Expressing future plans. Students are arriving at six o’clock tomorrow.

(3)   Expressing events that will not last soon. Beatrice is staying at our house for the whole winter.

     (2)   Present Participle.

By definition Participles are incomplete verb forms which need helping verbs so that they can function as real verbs. Present participles end with –ing forms while past participles end in –ed, -en, and –t forms. Present participle is one of the five principal parts every verb should have. You can check other Principal parts of a verb in other articles. One of the functions of participles is to form various kinds of tenses. In this case, the function of present participle is to form Present continuous tense:

     (3)   Ing- Nouns.

The students can also be introduced to another function of Present Participle in which present participle functions as nouns. It takes a place of subjects, objects, prepositions, and complements. Examples:

Daniel dislikes cooking (cooking as an object of the sentence).

Killing is a crime (killing as a noun and a subject of the sentence).

Coughing is uncomfortable (coughing as a subject of the sentence)

     (4)   Adjectives with Ing-Forms.

Another function of Present participle is that it can acts as an adjective which describes nouns or subjects. For example;

The movie was interesting (interesting as an adjective describing the noun, movie).

Running water swept the debris (running as adjective describing water).


Just like other types of tenses, present continuous tense won’t be forgotten by the students if they practice speaking English with the much use of such kind of tense or patters. If students are not encouraged to speak, all what they have learnt will be lost as well. Thus why, it’s normal to find a student form upper secondary level is complaining about his or her inability to comprehend tenses. But he there is only one problem: he or she did not practice the tenses by speaking


And this is like a rule to the whole English language subject. We teachers should teach our students by making them practice what we teach them.

– The verbs end with …ing

(i) Martha and Consolata are sweeping the floor

(ii) It is looking at you

(iii) They are eating rice

(iv) You are playing nicely

– When you go to school in the morning there are a lot of activities going on, you will see

(i) Some students sweeping the compound

(ii) Some students watering the flowers

(iii) Some students parading

(iv) Some teachers shouting to the students

(v) Parents paying fees.

Extra verbs

Flowering, watering, chasing, snoring, reading, shouting, waiting, glorying, drinking, ringing, banking, blowing, cutting, shrinking .


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