• Accounting for L2-English Learners’ Article Choices

    Author(s):
    SLS Working Papers (view group) , Benjamin White
    Date:
    2009
    Group(s):
    SLS Working Papers
    Subject(s):
    Applied linguistics, Second language acquisition
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    Tag(s):
    Article, english as a second language
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/6h41-9f40
    Abstract:
    Teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) are well aware that their students often fail to achieve native-like use of English articles. Even learners at higher levels of proficiency continue to make errors (Kharma, 1981; Master, 1997). They may substitute one article for another (e.g., the for a) or may omit articles entirely (e.g., book instead of the book). Research on ESL writing has found inaccurate article use to be one of the most frequent errors committed (Bardovi-Harlig & Bofman, 1989; Bitchener, Young, & Cameron, 2005). Learning to use articles appropriately is especially challenging for native (L1) speakers of article-less languages (Master, 1987). Whereas Spanish or German speakers may be learning the nuances that distinguish the uses of articles in English from those in their L1s, Korean and Russian speakers must learn this system without reference to comparable linguistic items in their own languages. That second language (L2) English learners make errors with articles is unsurprising given the complexity of the English article system, which requires a number of factors be considered. Celce-Murcia and Larsen-Freeman (1999) stressed the importance of noun classification for article choice. As seen in Figure 1, appropriate article decisions are dependent on classifications of common versus proper1 , count versus noncount, and singular versus plural.
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    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
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