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ERIC Number: EJ905821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1949-3533
A System for Understanding and Selecting English-Language Articles for Advanced ESL Writers
Robinson, Heather M.
TESOL Journal, v1 n3 p338-357 Sep 2010
The use of definite and indefinite articles in English is well known to be a major point of difficulty for many nonnative English speakers. These difficulties prevail even when the speakers are fluent in most other aspects of English grammar and style. This article investigates the pedagogical and linguistic reasons why article use is such a persistent problem area for ESL writers, and it presents a system for teaching the use of articles in English. It shows how the inherent meaning of a noun phrase interacts with other elements in the linguistic environment and with authorial intention in determining which article is most appropriate for that noun phrase. Finally, it provides an apparatus with which ESL writers can track the various components of article use and demonstrates how this apparatus can help make decisions about which article is the best choice for expressing the writer's intended meaning. (Contains 3 tables, 1 figure and 11 footnotes.)
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. 1925 Ballenger Avenue Suite 550, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 888-547-3369; Tel: 703-836-0774; Fax: 703-836-7864; Fax: 703-836-6447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A