I saw an interesting post on here that shows tenses in a chart. I use an even more schematic chart to explain active tenses to foreign students.
Given that you are all linguists I'd like to know what this community thinks of this chart. I am aware that some of you may not see tenses in this way and may even take exception to my scheme. In my defence, my students rarely make mistakes when selecting a tense. Given that the tenses often do not match those in their languages this is no mean feat.
I also give them this chart when they first come to me so that as they learn new tenses they know where they fit in the overall scheme of things. Tenses are traditionally taught sequentially, leaving the student to learn each tense in isolation and based on application. By giving the chart at the very start I am able to give the student a way of expressing time in many different ways very rapidly. Typically my students are using all but the bottom row by the end of year one.
The other advantage to this chart from a teacher's point of view is that it also makes the explanation of auxiliary verb usage very straightforward: none in the top row, To Be in the second, To Have in the third and both Be and Have in the fourth. It can be seen at a glance that Be is required in the continuous tenses and Have is required in the Perfect tenses.
So here is a simplified version of the chart showing the 1st person of the verb To Work:
I look forward to your comments.