With 2 Gem though, I didn’t want to waste too much time. Again, they had sauntered in after recess like they had all the time in the world, instead of rushing in because the English teacher (me) was already in the classroom. >.<

I had wanted to ask them about their holidays, what they did, where they went, if they had gone anywhere. But half the class were involved in olahraga, DK and all sorts of other activities that I just got tired of asking. I just accepted that, for a lot of them, they had other priorities besides studying English in my class. So.

Since, according to the scheme of work, this week is supposedly the “mid-term holidays” instead of the week after, I thought I’d take the chance and work on their basic grammars this week, and then resume text book work. So, one of the most basic, most important aspects of grammar is: Subject-Verb Agreement. Without it, you could not even make simple sentences accurately.

So I started off with an analogy of press studs. I had some trouble trying to explain what press studs were, in BM. But they eventually got what I meant. I said that, in English, sentences are like press studs. The subjects (pelaku) and the verbs (kata kerja) had to “fit”, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to close properly—like press studs! 😀 I also told them, contrary to Past Tense–where I had already told them it did not matter who the subject was the verb form remained the same–Subject-Verb Agreement is very important in Present Tense.

I made them copy down notes on different subjects and their verbs. “I, You, We, They” –> Verbs with no ‘s’. While “He, She, It” –> Verbs with ‘s’. Then we tried out different verbs; I gave them the subject and they’d tell me the right verb that agreed with it. (talk/talks, listen/listens, laugh/laughs, drive/drives etc.) Then I tested them further with subject substitution–where “Fahmi and I” could be substituted with “We” and would take a verb with no ‘s’. “Rahman and Afiq” would be “They” and take verbs with no ‘s’ as well. “The girl”/”She” will take verbs with ‘s’ and so on and so forth. Things were looking good at this point 😀

Then we did auxiliary verbs. I know, I told the class to ignore the names. Too difficult. >.< But the concept of a Singular subject taking on verbs like is, has and does while plural subjects take on are, have and do. With the exception of course of “I” and “You” where they take on plural verbs. Quite a lot to deal with, but I drew them a table to copy down as well. Hopefully, they could memorize it and it will help them.

Next was just exercises. I was glad that this time I had time to go through the questions with them–Handout 7A. There was ample time to do them one by one with them, and also time for them to try some questions on their own before we discussed them. I had some breathing time from writing furiously on the board to walk around the class and take note of the students’ progress. They seemed to be doing alright 🙂 They did still have problems with the “I” and “You”, and certain special cases like “Everyone” taking on singular verbs, but otherwise, they were slowly working out the correct verbs on their own 🙂

I just worry that they will get too dependent on the table and notes I had given them and keep referring to it all the time. But I guess they all have to start somewhere, right? Hopefully after more practice, their subject-verb agreement will not be a problem any more 😀

I had also prepared some revision questions on Past Tense (Handout 7B), which I had already taught them before the holidays. But obviously, from the questions they were asking me, and the blanks they left in the exercise, they weren’t really paying attention to me, or they have very short term memories =.= I wonder if it is possible to work on their Past Tense some more. Maybe in their Journals, I might show them how to use the Past Tense they’ve learned and put them into practice.

In retrospect, I rather liked today’s class. (1 Best’s was a bit too rushed! @.@) I was able to give them the input they needed to work things out on their own, albeit slowly. And I also had time to walk around and really see how each of them were doing. Some were faster than others, some were still struggling and kept asking me, “Betul ke, Cikgu?” Still, I was glad for the breathing time 😀 Good class, today! Achieved all my objectives, and saw some progress from the students. Satisfied! 😉

p.s: Something happened today. You can read it here.



1. Handout 7A (Subject-Verb Agreement)

2. Handout 7B (Auxiliary Verbs and Past Tense)