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Presenting Culture and Traditions (Present Continuous vs. Simple Present Simple Tense)

by Aybüke Uzunca | 22 Mar 2021
Resource Description: This task-based lesson plan can be utilized in online classrooms either to introduce or to revise the forms and functions of present continuous and simple present tense while it also allows students to compare these both tenses within the frame of an authentic context. 
Audience: University
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate
Duration: 135 minutes
Language Skill: Grammar, Speaking
Content Area: Life Skills, English for Academic Purposes
Materials and Technology:
  1. Wheel of names
  2. Presentation sample and its answer key
  3. Google Docs
  4. Padlet with internet resources and to share student questions
  5. Assignment to be opened on Google Classroom
  6. Mechanical exercises on Nearpod
  7. Self-Evaluation Questionnaire on Google Forms
Objective(s): The focus of this lesson is "Speaking". 

At the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:

  • Talk about culture, food and traditional clothes and traditions by utilizing simple present and present continuous.
  • Differentiate between the contextual uses of simple present tense and present continuous tense.

Pre-task Stage (40 min):

Greet the class, and inform the students that we are going to discuss culture and traditions today. Teacher can lead the class discussion by asking:

·        Are you open to new cultures or traditions?

·        Are you a modern or traditional person?

·        Do you have any foreign friends? If yes, do you sometimes explain Turkish culture or language to them?

·        Do you think language and culture are connected? 


·        Do you ever consider attending a cultural exchange program like Erasmus, Fulbright, Comenius? Why /Why not?

After eliciting ideas, have the students think that they are attending one of those programs and they are asked to prepare a short presentation in order to introduce their culture in one of the annual meetings as one of the requirements of the program. As there is a wide range of cultural differences depending on the geographical regions in Turkey, the students had better focus on one region only and introduce that region only to save time.

First form the groups of three, then let the students choose their regions randomly by utilizing the lottery.

First of all, explain what kind of presentation do you expect from them. In their presentation, they are going to talk about three main things:

·        Food

·        Clothes

·        Customs and traditions of the region they chose by chance

Demonstrate one sample slide and its text to the students to make it clear what kind of presentation format you expect from the students. In the text, there will be some missing parts to be filled by students. Those blanks can only be filled by either using simple present or present continuous tense. While the students complete the sample, check their answers on Google Docs. They are going to complete the text by working in groups in breakout rooms.

After they complete the sentences, call students to the main session and show the answers to the students so that they can compare their answers with your sample and evaluate their performance.

Then, announce students that it is their turn right now and they are going to prepare a presentation about foods, traditional clothes, customs and traditions. The slide has to include minimum three slides and the structures in the sample presentation slide are going to be used in their presentation.

(They need to describe the pictures by using ing form and they need to talk about general traditions by using simple present tense here.- You need to elicit it before they start their presentations.)

·        What did I use when I describe the picture? Which form? Am/is/are ing or V1?

·        What did I use when I talk about usual traditions? Am/is/are ing or V1?

In this part, the teacher can show a demo of the slide and its text to demonstrate students what kind of presentation s/he expects from the students (optional and it depends on time).

Planning and Task Stage (30 min):

After explaining the task, show them the padlet and the resources regarding each region that you uploaded on padlet, which meant that the students do not have to deal with finding the resources during the classroom. Some of resources might be in Turkish at this stage and the students are expected to report the information written there by making use of a simple language.

The students work in breakout rooms in groups of three and get ready to present one region of Turkey. 

Reporting Stage (35 min):

When the time is up and they finish their work, all the groups upload their work on Google Classroom on the assignment opened for them and they come back to main session.

They start presenting their works and findings regarding the traditions, customs and traditional clothing of each region in Turkey. While they present, the other members in the classroom take notes of whatever they have heard or learnt from their friends’ presentations.

When the presentations are over, they are expected to change their notes into questions and upload those question on the relevant note that was opened by their teachers on Padlet. 

Language Analysis Stage (10 min):

The teacher chooses some grammatically correct samples of present continuous and simple present tense from students’ work and from her/his sample as well and wants students to focus on those sentences by asking some concept check questions:


·        Which sentences talk about right now?

·        Which sentences give information about a fact or a habit or general information?


·        Focus on the sentences in simple present tense. Do we change the verb according to subject? How? Make a revision of the form by forming a table on the spot. How do we change this sentence into negative / question?

·        Now let’s look at the other sentences talking about right now. Do we change the main verb? How? How does the auxiliary verb change here? How do I make this sentence negative / question?

Practice Stage (15 min):

After making a revision of simple present tense and present continuous tense, have students to connect to Nearpod and practice the form and functions of those tenses more closely and provide feedback regarding the wrong student answers.


Assessment Stage (5 min):

Depending on their Nearpod outcomes, share a self evaluation form with the students so as to evaluate their performance on Nearpod.

Differentiation: The students will answer the questions they posted on Padlet at home/or in classroom by using present simple or continuous tenses. 

Deggin, C.(2021, January 28). Seven regions of Turkey: A delightful geographical collection. Property Turkey. 

Uludağlı, H. (2021). Regional cuisines of Turkey. Turkish cuisine.

Each of seven Turkey regions has its own clothing traditions and features. (n.d.). National clothing. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from 

Özkök, B. (2020, October 23). Türk Düğün Gelenekleri: Yörelere Göre Türk Düğün Adetleri. Düğün.

Present simple and present continuous tests. (n.d.). Focus. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from

Present simple or present continuous?.(n.d.).English exercises. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from

 Simple Present or Present Progressive/Continuous – Exercise 2. (n.d.). Englisch Retrieved March 21, 2021, from

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TESOL Interest Section: Computer-Assisted Language Learning, English as a Foreign Language, Nonnative English Speakers in TESOL, Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening