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How to Remember Verb Tense
—Examples of Starting Autonomous Learning
【作者:李梅  】【来源:本站原创  】【信息时间:2006年05月22日  】 【点击:   】
According to the new Full-time Middle School English Teaching Syllabus, the teaching aims of English language is to develop students’ abilities of using English through basic training. However, present foreign language teaching in middle school is greatly influenced by the “examination-handling pattern”. This method of teaching and learning causes ineffective and boring learning for middle school students. To sole this problem, teachers should help students to let them get new knowledge continually. So that they can learn by themselves. That is what so-called autonomous learning, which has great practical significance.
    The learning process of middle school students is changes from learning from teachers to learning by themselves. The key point of changing from passive learning to autonomous learning is to master scientific learning methods. The teachers should begin with proper learning methods and promote students’ independence on various levels.
    Take teaching tenses for example.
    Generally speaking, many teachers will teach all together 16 tenses in English one by one and ask students to remember their features and sentence structures. In fact, these sentence structures are closely related to each other. Students just have to remember 5 basic tenses and their provided sentence structures:
    Simple present tense
(Verbs are changed along with the single form of the third person.)
    Simple past tense
(Verbs are changed into past tense form.)
    Present progressive
(Sentence structure is: be + present participle of verbs)
    Present perfective
(Sentence structure is: has/have + past participle of verbs)
    Simple future tense
(Sentence structure is: will/shall + present tense form of verbs)
Other 11 kinds of tenses’ structures can be inferred according to the above 5 basic tenses’ structure. Here are two examples.
Examples:
I. He eats an apple. (Simple present tense)
    In this sentence, the verb (predicate) is “eat”. If students want to change this sentence into past perfective, they may probably remember the past perfective structure: had + past participle. In fact, we can infer this structure according to simple present tense.
    First, we must begin with the change of the verb—“eat”. Teachers can ask students to change this verb into present perfective form, that is, “has/have eaten”. Then teacher can ask students to change the present perfective form into past tense. The past tense form of “has/have eaten” is “had eaten”. So the complete form of past perfective form of the above sentence is:
He had eaten an apple.
II.Change simple future tense into future perfective.
   He will eat an apple.
   predicate: (will) eat —→ (will) has/have eaten
   There is “will” in front, so the sentence should be:
   He will have eaten an apple.
III. Change present progressive into future progressive.
   He is eating an apple.
   predicate: is eating —→ will be (eating)
So the sentence should be:
   He will be eating an apple.
   In this way, the other 10 kinds of sentence structure of different tenses can be inferred according to the 5 basic sentence structures. During the procedure of inference, teachers just act as a guider to help remind students to reasoning. We should not give students the correct answers to the question and students themselves can find the ultimate correct result. That is the first step of autonomous learning.

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