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Article Pedagogy: Encouraging Links between Linguistic Theory and Teaching Practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elaine Lopez



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications Ltd., 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


It is two decades since Master (1997) published a framework for L2 article pedagogy, based on several years of research into the acquisition of the English article system. Among his recommendations were a focus on intermediate level learners and a simplification of the rules presented to language learners. Since then, substantial work has been conducted to better understand the underlying reasons why English articles are difficult to acquire by learners with diverse language backgrounds (Ionin et al., 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011; Trenkic, 2008; GarcĂ­a Mayo, 2009; amongst others). The results indicate a systematic pattern of errors amongst learners whose first language does not have an article system, with varying theoretical explanations for this systematicity. Despite some intervention studies which have explored the pedagogical implications of this work (Snape and Yusa, 2013; Sabir, 2015; Lopez, under review; Umeda et al., under review), on the whole theoretical linguistic research in this area has not influenced pedagogy. The aim of this paper is to build on the work of Master (1997) by exploring whether the cumulative insights from the last 20 years of research into L2 article acquisition and instruction can help us to better understand the most effective method for teaching the complex uses of the English article system to L2 learners.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lopez E, Sabir M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: RELC Journal

Year: 2019

Volume: 50

Issue: 1

Pages: 188-201

Print publication date: 01/04/2019

Online publication date: 17/11/2017

Acceptance date: 27/06/2017

Date deposited: 14/12/2017

ISSN (print): 0033-6882

ISSN (electronic): 1745-526X

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0033688217730143


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