The regular past tense in English is formed by adding "ed" to the verb. This past tense regular verb ending has three distinct sounds:
- /t/ as in stopped, walked, relaxed
- /d/ as in arrived, lived, used
- /id/ as in wanted, needed, hated
Many textbooks contain some kind of activity in which students are given a list of verbs, and they identify which of these sounds is the final sound of the regular past tense. Captur is an ideal way for teachers to find out how well their students understand these sounds.
On the board, make a chart like this:
It's a good idea to include one or two examples on the board with each sound
The textbook usually contains a number of regular past tense verbs, and a way for students to indicate how the final "-ed" is pronounced. (If your textbook doesn't have this, you could always provide a dozen or so verbs of your own on a handout or on the board; a comprehensive list of these verbs appears at the bottom of this article.)
I let the students work in pairs to write their answers. Usually, I can hear them saying the words to each other. If there's a disagreement, I suggest, "Why not check the dictionary?" When they're done, I elicit the answers from students using Captur paddles. After I get their answer, I model the pronunciation, and ask them all to repeat it. (Choral repetition isn't the trendiest of classroom techniques, but there's a time and place for everything.)
Teacher: OK, the next one is the past tense of "carry". Past tense of "carry". Show me your answers.
Students: (should all show for /d/)
Teacher: Yes. "carried". Repeat after me, "carried."
You can include an example right now if you'd like to, but I usually leave that for later, when I'm focusing on more communicative tasks and meaning-based activities. This is simply a short segment of the class. You'll be able to see from the students' answer paddles how many of them know the answers. You'll be able to find the students' weak spots as well as their strong spots, so you'll know what you need to focus on in the future.
A Listening Option
Here are two options for adding a listening component to this sequence.
Ask students to show you the A, B or C for the sound of the verb, same as above ("OK, the next one is the past tense of "carry". Past tense of "carry". Show me your answers.")
Give feedback ("Almost everyone is correct!", "About half of you are correct", etc.) but not the answer.
Model the pronunciation for the students. ("Please listen: carried. She carried her umbrella. Carried.")
Ask students to show you the A, B or C again.
Tell them the answer. Model the answer if needed, and elicit a repetition as above.
Another way of doing this is to skip the first two steps above, and simply start with your own modeled pronunciation.
List of Regular Past Tense Pronunciation
|Source of verb list: about.com|