Mar 11

Practice the present perfect using Chat GPT EFFECTIVELY for language teaching

A grammar practice activity...

Chat GPT and ELT-Training team up!

AI has some great applications for the classroom when the teacher COMBINES it with experience. Here's a fantastic activity for the present perfect simple and continuous (with some help from Chat GPT).
Practice the present perfect using Chat GPT - Video script

Last week, I showed you how ChatGPT generated an activity to practice the present perfect for unfinished time. (point) but my feeling was that it wasn’t very inspiring so I’ve been tinkering around with it and I’ve got a great practice activity for you now. Are you interested? Keep watching.

I’m Jo Gakonga and if we’re meeting for the first time, I’m a teacher educator, I’ve been a CELTA trainer for over 20 years, I have a PhD in applied linguistics and I run a website at with material like this for people like you!

So what can you do with Chat GPT? My experience with it seems to be the same as a lot of other people- it’s amazing at first and it’s great at generating ideas, but the things it comes up with can be a bit generic and as with most other technology, I suppose, it comes down to how you use it. So I decided that instead of asking it to come up with a practice activity from scratch, I’d ask it to help me with an idea I already had and I think what I’ve got is pretty good…

Before I tell you about it, if you like this but you need more input on your own knowledge of grammar- here are a couple of courses that will really help and if you want more help with presenting language in a communicative way, I can help you with that too- links below for all of these.

Grammar for Language Teachers

Language Analysis Made Easy

Teaching Grammar Communicatively

But let’s get back to our practice activity for the present perfect simple and continuous….

This is based on something I’ve done many times in classes and I know it works well- it’s a roleplay of a school reunion. Imagine a situation where you’re meeting people you were at school with but who you haven’t seen for 10 years. You’re telling them about your life and it’s a really natural context for the present perfect- what you’ve done and what you’ve been doing.

You could just ask the learners to come up with their own ideas- but they can struggle to think of anything- so you could give them role cards- but the problem with preparing this as a teacher is that you have to make those role cards. This is where Chap GPT comes in. I put in this prompt …

Write six role cards for people at a school reunion. Include examples of the present perfect simple and continuous.

And this is what I got. Within seconds. Great. You can find this worksheet at the link below! There’s some great language in these cards, but if you want ones that are graded at a lower level, just tell Chat GPT to do this for you.

So you have 6 different roles. Give them out to your learners in groups. Put people with the same role together. So, if you have 18 people in the class, you’ll have three in each role.

Give them some time to read the card, check any vocabulary and practise what they’re going to say. Monitor and make sure that they can produce the example sentences and encourage them to make up further details.

Now give everyone a copy of the table (that’s on the worksheet, too) and ask them to find the other people, talk to them and make notes about what they’ve been doing. You might want to demonstrate with a stronger learner. Talking to three other people is probably enough, I’d say, but see how they are enjoying it and using the language. Give them time to talk to each other, make notes and to round up the activity, you could get them to write up a summary of what they heard.

I think this is a great activity with lots of opportunity for natural use of the language- try it out and see how you go, and if you like this, check out Communication Activities on my site- it’s free.