present perfect and past tense

Lesson/Unit Summary: In this unit, a teacher’s autobiography is used as the language input and as the basis for the dictogloss activity. In the dictogloss, students are required to reconstruct the teacher’s autobiography after listening to the text several times. Students’ attention is focused on how the present perfect aspect and the past tense are used to describe unfinished actions and finished actions, respectively. Dictogloss helps students to relate the meaning and the form during the reconstruction. In this collaborative activity, students work together and support each other, which would strengthen their understanding of the target grammar points. In the follow-up activity, students are required to use the present perfect aspect and the past tense to share their life experience with their friend and write a biography about their friend. The lesson has integrated all the four skills to help students to achieve both accuracy and fluency.

Level of Students: Junior Secondary

Lesson Duration: 90 minutes (2 lessons)

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this lesson, students should be able to:

  1. Differentiate the use of simple past tense and present perfect tense in describing finished and unfinished actions;
  2. Use simple past tense to complete the timeline of one’s life experience;
  3. Create their own timeline and write their autobiography.

Lesson Plan: Present Perfect and Past Tense (Junior Secondary)

Teaching Materials: 

Useful Websites:


We would like to express our gratitude to Lee Gwangmin for sending the project team her original lesson plan and allowing us to make modifications to it. 

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To cite this resource:

Lu, Y. X. C., Mao, Y. T. Y., & Lee, F. K. J. (2020). Present perfect and past tense. Retrieved from

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