1. When students make errors such as "I am confusing by that homework," realize that they may believe, wrongly, that the VERB-ing must always be used with the present tense of the verb to be (am, is, are) as it is in "present continuous tense" formations such as am studying, is walking, are playing.
2. Explain to the student that many -ed/-ing forms can have an ADJECTIVE function separate from their use as parts of a verb phrase.
3. Show the student how the -ed/-ing participles, operating as adjectives, are independent of the tense of a verb. In the sentences below, the participles motivated and surprising describe "the students" and "the results of the experiment" in the same way that regular adjectives like "happy" or "important" could. Independently, the verbs are, were, and will be express the time relations within the sentences.
The students are motivated to learn English.
The students were motivated to learn English.
The students will be motivated to learn English.
The results of the experiment are surprising.
The results of the experiment were surprising.
The results of the experiment will be surprising.
4. Explain to the student that there is a category of verbs related to "emotional response" and that the -ed/-ing participles of those verbs communicate the SOURCE and EXPERIENCER of the emotion. The participle referring to the noun phrase that is the SOURCE of the feeling has the -ing ending. The participle referring to the noun phrase that is the EXPERIENCER of the feeling has the -ed ending.
5. Use "concept sentences" and questions as a strategy to help students analyze the relationships between the emotional response verb and the SOURCE/EXPERIENCER noun phrases. For example, given the phrase "the confusing homework," help students develop a concept sentence such as the following:
The homework confuses you.
Ask questions to help students see what the source of the confusion is and who is experiencing the confusion:
What is the source or cause of the confusion? (the homework)
Who experiences the confusion? (you)
As another example, given the phrase "the frightened boy," help students develop a concept sentence such as the following:
Something frightens the boy.
Ask questions to help students see what the source of the fright is and who is experiencing the fright:
What is the source or cause of the fright?
Who experiences the fright?
Working through these concept sentences and related questions will enable students to see the relevant relationships in sentences containing -ed and -ing participles. Seeing the relationships and interpreting the sources and experiencers will ultimately lead students to the correct use of these forms and to the proper understanding of sentences containing them.