Tenses are used to communicate whether a verb began in the past or not; whether it’s finished; and whether it’s immediate, temporary, or permanent. Insights consolidates the various uses of a tense into one key thing to remember for each, as well as draws connections between different tenses.
The Past Basic is the element that makes a tense past, as opposed to present. In fact, the method starts with present sentences and transforms them into past ones. These may be progressive/continuous or not, and they may be perfect or not, as the 1 Blue Word rule is relative to all past tenses. For elementary students, the focus should remain on turning Present Simple into Past Simple.
The Present Perfect Tense is often taught in relation to certain adverbs. The Insights method focuses on three usages (for experiences, for states, and for results), which are all really variations of one overarching theme: the Present Perfect is used when verbs that began (and maybe finished) in the past are still relevant in the present, either because they continue or because their effects are more important than the actions.
Progressive/Continuous Tenses are ones that take the form be ____ing. They can be past, present, or future; the video takes a look at all three (they can also be perfect or not). A verb that is active in the moment is Progressive, and ongoing verbs are Continuous. There’s plenty of overlap between the two, so either term can be used for any tense that is temporary and unfinished.
The Past Perfect Tense considers verbs that happened before a given point-of-view time in the past (they are in the past of the past). For this reason, Insights refers to this tense as ‘double-past’ or ‘super-past’. The key to identifying when to use Past Perfect is to find the points when the order of verbs in a sentence does not align with the chronological order of those verbs.
The Present Perfect Continuous is a combination of the Present Perfect tense with the Continuous (or Progressive) aspect, in regards to both the form and the usage. Once these two concepts are understood, you can teach the method in this video to introduce the Present Perfect Continuous tense.