In the How Long Quiz ESL activity, students answer ‘how long’ trivia questions in the present perfect, using for and since.
The easiest way to do this activity is to use our interactive Trivia Quiz game. This comes with a pre-made set of suitable questions and answers – simply select ‘How Long Quiz’ from the dropdown menu.
Otherwise, you will need to prepare ten ‘How long…’ questions in the present perfect simple, along with answers (either as a computer slideshow, or just to read out). Specify with the question whether the answer should use ‘for’ or ‘since’. For example, How long has the European Union existed? (since) – The European Union has existed since 1993. These could be general knowledge questions, or questions specific to your class/institution (e.g. How long has Alex taught at this school?).
Divide the class into teams of two or three students. Each team will need a piece of paper to write their answers on.
- Present/read each ‘How long…’ question to the students. If you’re using our Trivia Quiz game (or a slideshow), have a different student read out the question each time.
- After each question, give the teams one or two minutes to write down their answer. This must be a full sentence in the present perfect simple, using for or since as directed in the question.
- When you have presented all the questions, the teams swap papers to correct their answers.
- Go through the questions again, eliciting answers and revealing the correct answer for each one.
- The students correct and score the answers of the other team. A grammatically correct sentence is worth one point, and the correct date/duration is worth one point (half if the wrong for/since option is used).
- When all the questions have been checked, the students total up the scores. The team with the most points at the end wins.
The How Long Quiz ESL activity is designed for practising the present perfect simple. Specifically, it focuses on the correct use of ‘for’ with durations, and ‘since’ with specific times, for actions that started in the past but continue today. After you’ve given each answer, ask students to give you the alternative for/since option as well.
For an activity in which students create their own quiz to practise question formation, see General Knowledge Quiz.
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