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Mastering the English article, autor Prof. Diana Toader

The research presented in this work attempts to find a solution for improving Romanian learners’ performance in using English articles. English articles are ‘little words’ and within current teaching approaches that rely heavily on communication, they receive relatively little attention.

However, English articles occur very frequently and incorrect use may affect communication negatively. Also a second language writer may prefer to be accurate, especially if s/he is to write professionally.

Chapter 1 and 2 explore the difficulties for learners in the English article system and deals with the semantic notions English articles seem to express. The two distinctions that English marks are definiteness versus non-definiteness and count versus non-count.

Chapter 3 will look at the numbers of errors made by Romanian writers of English made. The questions addressed are whether article errors are indeed as frequent as suspected, how they correlate with the total number of errors and the other errors made in the essay, and whether article errors decrease as proficiency improves. We will also examine whether the number of article errors affect writing grades.

Chapter 4 examines what pedagogical grammars have said so far about the teaching of the English article system and how these ideas have been translated into current textbooks. The review will show that there are quite a few problems with current methods, mainly because the system is not dealt with coherently as a whole and incorrect “rules of thumb” are provided. The chapter ends with a proposal for a series of lessons based on insights proposed by Master (1990), Langacker (1991), and others.

Chapter 5 presents the results of an intervention study. Two groups are compared, one taught with lessons pertaining to article use from current methods and the other taught with lessons devised on the principles discussed in Chapter 4. The short-term results look very promising, but the long-term results do not.

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Descarcă ediţia online – gratuită – a lucrării Mastering the English article, autor Prof. Diana Toader.

ISBN 978-606-577-150-5

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