Home > Business Situations, Key Business Language, Talking about Performance, The Present Perfect > A Business English Lesson Plan for the Present Perfect

A Business English Lesson Plan for the Present Perfect

This business English lesson plan helps learners use the present perfect to report progress and performance.

Stage 1 – Vocabulary

1. Give learners the following words on cards/a handout:

  • Bonus
  • Performance Related Pay
  • Commission
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • Target
  • Deadline

Elicit/teach the meaning of these terms and lead a discussion on the pay policy in the learners’ companies

2. Introduce verbs that collocate with the terms above and practice using them


  • receive a bonus
  • earn commission
  • miss a KPI
  • reach a KPI
  • meet a deadline


Stage 2 – Language Focus



Write two sentences on the board:

  1. We’ve performed really well over the quarter
  2. We’ve had several issues during this quarter

Ask learners which is the opening sentence in a positive situation (the department achieved it’s target) [sentence 1] and a negative situation (the department missed it’s target) [sentence 2]

Explain that the quarter finishes today and highlight the use of the present perfect:

  1. We’ve performed really well over the quarter
  2. We’ve had several issues during this quarter

Elicit why the speaker uses this form: to show that the situation started in the past and finishes now


Controlled Practice

Ask learners to write some other sentences they could use to introduce positive and negative results

Example: We haven’t met the target this time


Stage 3 – Giving Good & Bad News

Give learners a handout with the following phrases and elicit which are used to introduce good and bad news:

  • Unfortunately…
  • So I’m pleased to say that…
  • So, I’m sorry to say…
  • Happily…


Then ask learners to match the phrases with these sentence tails:

  • bonus’ won’t be paid this period
  • everyone will receive a full bonus
  • there won’t be pay rises this quarter
  • we’ll all be getting a pay rise


Stage 4 – Free Practice

Give each learner a card with the following information:

  • exceeded target, big bonuses
  • just missed target no bonus
  • missed target dramatically, no bonus
  • met target, small bonus


Learners then stand up and present their message to the group:

Example: I sorry to say that we haven’t met our target for this period. So, unfortunately there won’t be a bonus paid this quarter.

Provide feedback and error correction


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