Future Perfect lesson plans are appropriate for advanced English language learners and, possibly, for high intermediate students.
This verb tense is usually pretty difficult for ESL and EFL students to master. One of the reasons is that it isn't used as frequently as other tenses, even by native English speakers.
Lesson plans for the Future Perfect tense should include (1)
conjugation, (2) form, and (3) function(s) of the tense. Of course, not
all of these components need be taught in the same lesson. For a
thorough discussion on how to teach verb tenses, see Teaching ESL Verb Tenses.
Future Perfect Verb Conjugation
The Future Perfect is constructed this way:
The conjugation is fairly simple. Only the subject changes. Here are some examples with the subject pronouns I, you, he/she/it, they and we.
ESL cloze exercises can be used for Future Perfect lesson plans to reinforce conjugation and past participle usage.
Future Perfect Verb Form (five forms the ESL student must learn)
*Note: "Have" is sometimes added to the Short Answer form; e.g., Yes, I will have. No, I won't have.
Function of Future Perfect Tense
The Future Perfect is used to express an activity that will be completed by another time or event in the future. It's usually used with a time clause, for example, "by the time" or "by next week." If the time clause uses a verb, it will use the Present Simple tense.
Here are some examples:
By the time she sees her son again, he will have been in Afghanistan for two years.
She will have studied English for six months by the time she leaves for the United States.
We will have learned all the ESL verb tenses by the end of the semester.
ESL Student Challenges
Future Perfect lesson plans focusing on verb conjugation can include cloze (fill-in-the-blanks) exercises. The challenge here will be using the correct past participle for irregular verbs. So if your focus is teaching ESL/EFL students the proper conjugation, it may be best to use regular verbs first.
Overall, ESL students have trouble using this tense easily and effectively because they don't get enough practice using it. It's one of the last tenses taught (actually, it's usually next to the last tense taught). When students start new ESL classes, the teacher often has to review the previous tenses. So by the time students leave the class, the teacher may not have had time for Future Perfect lesson plans.
Additional ESL Resource
Azar's, Understanding and Using English Grammar
is an excellent textbook for helping prepare Future Perfect lesson
plans, as well as all other tenses. It has exercises and excellent
explanations. I use it regularly with my high intermediate and advanced
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You are free to use my materials in your classes.
I just ask that you include my website address on handouts.