TEFL Lesson Plans

Present Continuous.

To introduce and practice ways to:
* Talk about what you are doing in the present
* Talking about the future and
* Making arrangements
In this lesson you will be using just one tense: The Present Continuous

Your learners may already have done some work on this – you will know your class and how much new vocabulary you want to introduce to / elicit from your learners. It may be that your learners have already been introduced to this tense. They will need a lot of practice and this lesson provides just that.


Lesson Length:
There should be enough material here for a lesson lasting 60 – 90 minutes (depending on how many practice activities you decide to do in your lesson).

Flash cards / Pictures

Part One:

Target Language:
I’m / He’s / She’s + verb + -ing (for what is happening now)

There are many ways to elicit this tense. One of the easiest is to do some kind of mime (for example a card trick). Try to elicit the question and the answer from your learners.

“What are you doing?” “I’m ____________________.”


For lower level learners you will need to do a lot of practice, first in open and then in closed pair work. Concentrate on the way your learners pronounce the structures. Listen carefully as you monitor your learners during closed pair work. You may have to provide a few prompts. You can do this with flash cards or mime.

* Use action pictures – a person doing something, playing a sport or some activity. Get your learners to ask both the question and answer.

“What’s he / she / it doing?” “He / she / it’s ______________.”

Elicit using prompts: [use flash cards]

* Eating
* Running
* Drinking
* Standing
* Sitting
* Swimming
* Sleeping
* Cleaning
* Doing housework
* Making his bed
* Cooking
* Listening to music
* Studying
* Reading
* Taking (having) a shower/bath
* Watching a movie
* Doing a card trick
* Playing [games or sports or a musical instrument]

Give a flash card or a card with a continuous verb written on it to a student but do it secretly. Then ask them to mime it to their partners
* “What am I doing?”
* “You are _______________.”
Do this in pair work.

Part Two:

Target Language:
I’m / He’s / She’s + verb + -ing (for what will happen in the future)

To indicate a future meaning, you need to add at the beginning or at the end of this structure, a phrase such as:
* Tonight
* Next week
* On Wednesday
* In a couple of weeks
* Tomorrow

Your students will understand that you can use the Present Continuous for something that is happening in the present. You now need to elicit a different meaning: Making plans and talking about the future.

You can elicit this by miming a telephone conversation. Try to elicit the complete dialogue from your learners:

“What are you doing?”
“I’m working / eating / shopping.”
“What are you doing tonight at seven o’clock?”
“I don’t know / I’m going out with my friends / I’m eating my dinner.”

Many of your students may already be familiar with the use of this tense. To concept check this you may wish to draw a time line on the board and show the “doing” now (in the present) and the “doing” later (at seven o’clock tonight).

Do choral and individual drilling of this simple dialogue with your learners and write the form clearly on the board. Now elicit forms of invitation. At Elementary level perhaps a simple “Would you like to come?” will suffice. If you can’t elicit it, you may have to model the form.


Depending on the level of your learners you may wish to elicit (or model) some of these informal phrases that lend themselves to making arrangements. Remember to elicit the dialogue structures first, drill and put the form on the board. Do not allow your learners to just read from the board. You can always create a gap fill (cloze) by removing certain words so that they have a dialogue frame to work from at first.

If you have time you could extend this dialogue to include where to meet and at what time. This will depend on the length of your lesson and the level of your learners.

Pair work:

A “What are you doing
* after this lesson
* after school
* tonight
* tomorrow
* Wednesday night
* Saturday night
* for your summer holidays ?”

B “I don’t know. I was thinking about
* going swimming
* having a bath
* doing the shopping
* going to the cinema
* playing pachinko
* writing to my friend in England
* eating out at my favourite restaurant

A “I’m
* having some friends round for a party
* listening to some music
* going shopping for _______
* going to the video rental shop
* playing tennis
…would you like to come?”

” “Yeah sure.
” Ok.
” Why not?
” Yes, I’d love to.”




Free TEFL Taster

Take our quiz
and see if our
courses are
right for you...

Is TEFL for me?

Why i-to-i?

  • A reputable TEFL course provider for more than 27 years
  • Over 250 years of combined TEFL experience across our TEFL tutors and academic experts
  • More than 210,000 TEFL tutees
  • Recommended by 94% of tutees
  • More than 65 experienced tutors around the world!
  • Online & classroom learning opportunities
  • Personalized tutor feedback – true support from real experts
  • Check out the latest TEFL vacancies on our TEFL Jobs Board
Find Us

i-to-i TEFL
4th Floor, Wilson House, Lorne Park Road,
Bournemouth, England, BH1 1JN,
United Kingdom

i-to-i TEFL is a part of Teach and Travel Group Ltd.
Registered Company No. 7935847.