Your words - my grammar

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GRAMMAR: Present perfect continuous
LEVEL: lower-intermediate
TIME: 15-20 minutes
In class
1 Write a sentence in the target structure on the board, e.g.
Who’s | been| eating my porridge?
Explain to the students that you want them to write sentences that have exactly the same grammar as the above sentence, but all the words apart from the one in the box, been, must be different and must be their own words. So the first word must be an interrogative pronoun, the second an auxiliary verb, the third no change, the fourth - a main verb + ing, etc. From the above sentence students produce sentences like:
What’s been killing her flowers?
Which ones have been chasing our cat?
2 Ask the students to write their sentences on the board - do not correct their sentences before they get them up on the board. Now ask the class to decide which sentences are right and which wrong - allow the students as much room as possible in this discussion.
The first time you do this exercise with a class there may be some confusion in the students’ minds as to what exactly you are after. It is therefore important to start with a short, simple sentence.
I learnt this exercise from the Silent Way tradition in the person of Lou Spavcnta.

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