Present Perfect ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

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ESL Present Perfect Activity - Reading and Writing - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this rewarding present perfect worksheet activity, students review the correct use of the present perfect by finding errors in affirmative and negative sentences and questions. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students read the sentences and questions on their worksheet, some of which contain errors in the use of the present perfect. If the students think a sentence is right, they put a tick next to the sentence. If they think it's wrong, they put a cross. When the students have finished, they bet on their answers, depending on how confident they are about their decisions. Students bet between 10 and 100 points for each item. Afterwards, the answers are checked as a class. If students guess correctly, they win the amount they bet. If they guess incorrectly, they lose that amount. The student with the highest grand total at the end is the winner.
 

How have you been?

ESL Present Perfect Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this entertaining present perfect game, students give news about recent events using the present perfect tense. The students are put in groups of four and each group is given a set of good and bad news cards. Students take it in turns to take a card from the top of the pack, without showing it to anyone. A group member then asks the student 'How have you been?' The student with the card replies with either 'Pretty good' or 'Not too good', depending on whether their card represents good news or bad news. After that, the student must be silent and mime the present perfect sentence on their card using actions and gestures. The other students try to guess the news. The first student to say the present perfect sentence on the card wins and keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
 

Love Story

ESL Present Perfect Game - Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 minutes

In this fun present perfect activity, students play a game where they race to put words in the correct order to make present perfect sentences about a love story. The class is divided into teams of three. Each team is given a copy of the worksheet. Teams then race to put the words in the first sentence on their worksheet in the correct order, adding in any necessary punctuation and correcting any grammar mistakes. The first team to show and read out the sentence in the correct order wins three points. Teams that show or read out a wrong answer lose one point. This continues until all the sentences have been completed. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
 

Present Perfect Time Expressions

ESL Present Perfect Game - Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

In this engaging present perfect game, students race to make present perfect sentences and questions with time expressions. The class is divided into two teams (A and B). One student from each team comes to the front of the class and is shown a time expression associated with the present perfect tense. The two students then race to make a present perfect sentence or question using the time expression. The first student to do this successfully wins a point for their team. If a student makes a grammar mistake, they are out. If both students cannot make an appropriate present perfect sentence or question, they are both out. After that, two new students come up to the front of the class and so on. This continues until all the time expression cards have been used correctly. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Afterwards, the time expressions are written on the board. The students then write down a present perfect sentence or question for each time expression. The students are then divided into pairs and they check each other's work and suggest improvements or corrections. Finally, the time expressions and students' work is reviewed as a class and feedback is given.
 

Talk about it

ESL Present Perfect Board Game - Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 minutes

Here is an excellent present perfect board game to help students practice talking about various topics in the present perfect tense. This activity is also ideal for reviewing the various uses of the present perfect. Each group of three or four is given a copy of the game board, a dice and counters. Students take it in turns to roll the dice and move their counter along the board. When a student lands on a square, they have to talk about the topic on the square in the present perfect tense for 30 seconds without stopping. If a student can’t think of anything to say, makes a grammar mistake, or stops talking before the 30 seconds are up, they must go back to their previous square. The first student to reach the finish wins the game.
 

What's been changed?

ESL Present Perfect Passive Activity - Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 20 minutes

This present perfect activity helps to teach students how to use the present perfect passive to talk about things that have changed. The class is divided into two teams (A and B). The students begin by memorizing the position and state of everything in the classroom for two minutes. A student from Team A then leaves the room for one minute. During that time, the other students change five things in the room. When the student comes back, they have to identify what has been changed by making present perfect passive statements, e.g. 'The lights have been switched off'. When the student returns and begins identifying changes, the other students must listen carefully and confirm or deny the changes. The student scores one point for his or her team for each correct answer. A student from Team B then leaves the room and so on. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

How things have changed

ESL Present Perfect Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate - 45 minutes

In this intriguing present perfect activity, students discuss how things have changed in the last ten years. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students look at the topics on their worksheet and think about how the things have changed in the last ten years. Students write their answers in the appropriate column in the chart marked ‘You’. Students also make notes to justify their answers. When everyone has finished, the students are divided into pairs. Students then use the present perfect to interview their partner and complete the second chart on the worksheet with their answers, e.g. 'A: How do you think banking has changed in the last ten years?' 'B: I think banking has changed a lot. Banks have reduced their interest rates a great deal'. When the students have finished interviewing each other, students work in groups of four and discuss the topics they have put in different columns.
 

Unemployable

ESL Present Perfect Activity - Listening and Speaking - Intermediate - 30 minutes

This present perfect activity helps students review question and answer forms using the tense. The students are told that they are going to conduct job interviews using the present perfect tense. The class is divided into pairs. One student is the interviewer and the other is the interviewee. Each interviewee is given a role card. The interviewee’s role card shows the reason why they are unemployable. The job interviewer’s task is to ask present perfect questions and try to think of the right question to find out their partner’s secret, e.g. 'How many jobs have you had?' 'Have you ever been fired?' 'How long have you been unemployed?' Etc. The interviewees answer their partner's questions and are not allowed to lie, but they can try to avoid difficult questions. After the interviews are complete, the interviewers guess why their partner is unemployable. Finally, the interviewees reveal their secrets.
 
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