They really shouldn’t teach “I before E except after C”, because there are far too many counter-examples. Off the top of my head:
Their, weird, weigh, eight, height, either, neighbour, protein, apartheid, Reid, vein, science, and best of all, fallacies.
The time would be far better spent explaining “you’re” vs “your”.
As any Canadian, I took French in school for 10 or 11 years. I remember it being really tough to learn all the verb tenses. They talked about past participle, future progressive, past perfect, etc. What probably made this tough is that I didn’t know those terms for English verbs. I obviously knew the meanings of “flown”, “will be flying” and “had flown”, but until I taught ESL, I couldn’t have matched the terms to the tenses. I think I might have been a bad English student… maybe a bad French student too.
It was even hard to explain the general meaning of tenses. Explaining “will fly” vs. “will be flying” vs. “will have flown” vs. “will have been flying” was a huge challenge. I had to give it serious thought to generalize what time a tense refers to. Try it yourself, I dare you.
Let’s go for a fly!