Marieke Marieke

Present continuous lesson TP8a (Marieke Steuben)
Beginner level


In this lesson, students will gain understanding of the present continuous in the context of telephone conversations at a concert. First they will be exposed to the TL in a listening activity. Then they will discover the meaning and form of present continuous in some guided activities. Finally they will have a chance to practice present continuous in their own short dialogues.


Abc HO listening for details
Abc Straightforward Beginners CD2
Abc HO Guided Discovery Present Cont
Abc HO make sentences
Abc HO find someone who

Main Aims

  • To provide clarification of the present continuous in the context of telephone conversations at a rock concert.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide listening practice for specific information using telephone conversations from a concert venue.
  • To provide accuracy speaking practice in a dialogue about current activities.


Lead in (3-4 minutes) • To set context (concerts)

Show pictures to elicit “concert”. Ask them if they go to concerts, what kind. Introduce “festival” and “Glastonbury” with pictures.

Listening for specific information (5-6 minutes) • To expose sts to TL

A listening exercise with 4 short dialogues will expose the students to the TL. They listen for specific details to choose the correct ending to the sentences on a HO. The sentences they are listening for: “I'm driving.” “I'm getting something to eat.” “I'm wearing my red jacket.” “We're having a good time.” Play recording 2.68. Pause in between dialogues. Then check the answers. Keep this quick.

Check meaning (6-8 minutes) • To check meaning of present continuous

Using the same sentences I can check meaning by using timelines and CCQs. “I'm driving.” – Where is the man? (in the car) What is he doing? (driving) When is he driving? (now, at that moment) When did he start driving? (before now) When will he stop driving? (later) “I'm getting something to eat.” – Is Josh hungry? (yes) Is he at a food cart? (yes) Is he buying food? (yes) Did he already eat something? (no) “I'm wearing my red jacket.” – Where is the jacket? (on Rob) Does he always wear it? (no/maybe) Is he wearing it right now? (yes) “We're having a good time.” – Where are they? (at the concert) Do they like it? (yes) Has the concert already started? (yes) Is the concert over? (no) Put timelines on the board and have sts choose where the actions go on the timelines.

Discover form (8-10 minutes) • To help sts discover form of present continuous

Guided Discovery handout starts with the text from the dialogues with present continuous in underlined-bold. Ask sts to find a positive statement, a negative statement and a question (or two). Work in pairs. For instance, “I'm eating.” “I'm not working today.” “What are you doing?” “Is it raining?” Ask sts to write the 4 sentences in the boxes. Ask sts where is the subject? Where is the main verb / what form (-ing)? What is am/is/are (helping verb)? When do we use the contractions (in speaking)?

Pronunciation and controlled practice (6-8 minutes) • To help sts practice pronunciation and make sentences using present cont.

Drill the -ing verbs in the previous HO Drill the questions and some of the sentences. Emphasis on contractions and stress. Show HO and ask sts to make sentences to match the sounds, such as “He's talking on the phone.” etc. Play Recording 2.69. Ask sts to make sentences using present continuous. Write alone first. Do an example. Check in pairs. Nominate for WC FB.

Controlled practice (5-7 minutes) • Give sts controlled practice using present continuous

Give them a HO with the telephone conversation in Exercise 2 and they fill in the blanks with the correct form of the present continuous using the verb offered. Example: The band is playing (play). Check answers on WB. Skip this activity if running out of time, and move to speaking practice.

Speaking practice (10-12 minutes) • Give sts freer practice using present continuous

Give them HO with verbs and give them a structure to ask questions, using “Are you …. ?” Give them a few minutes to write some questions and practice with a partner. Then they can ask each other in a WC mingle. Ask them to find someone who: For instance, “Are you wearing a new jacket?” “Are you feeling cold?” “Are you wearing new shoes?” “Are you drinking tea?” If time, do delayed error correction on the WB.

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