DAVID ROSENSTEIN (BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY)

TEACHING STUDENTS "THE TRUTH" ABOUT "-ING" : LANGUAGE LEARNING

Asian students of English are taught early on that the Present Progressive (or Continuous) tense using -ing describes an action “in progress,” taking place “now,” whereas the Present Simple tense, using the basic form of the verb, describes a repeated or habitual action. Furthermore, they are taught that certain descriptive verbs of emotion (love, hate), perception (taste, see) or state (is, has) are used only in the Present Simple because by definition they describe constant states. They therefore assume that the following sentences are incorrect: 1. David is always giving money to beggars. 2. David is hating exercise class. 3. David is being French. 4. I’m lovin’ it. (McDonalds’ advertising slogan) They are surprised to learn that sentences like there are not only correct, but also quite common! Therefore, they should be taught "the whole truth" about the use of English progressive tenses.

email: rosenstein_david@yahoo.com Chairman of the EFL Department (Retired) of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. I have EFL teaching experience in the US, Taiwan, Beijing, and Israel. I have written 4 books on EFL, the latest being published in China (Yingyu Yufa) by the People's Education Press (Beijing).