Dragica Zugic

DOI Number
First page
Last page


Abstract. The article system of English is very difficult for L2 learners to understand and even for teachers to explain it especially if there are no such elements in their L1. Teaching the articles of English seems to be a rather complicated procedure. Some theories indicate that article pedagogy should focus on learning rules and exceptions. On the other hand, other theorists believe that article pedagogy should concentrate on applying a communicative approach in the classroom. Both methods are well-founded and useful in the L2 acquisition of articles. The main aim of this paper is to introduce a variety of options for analysing article pedagogy and usage found in the literature. Based on Master`s (1986) pedagogical sequence for teaching articles and Pica`s (1983) recommendations for instruction, this paper will reveal common article errors in L2 students’ translation and discuss how systematic instruction can strengthen accelerated learning of the article system. Students should also be made aware of the whole system of articles and not just of their individual use.

Full Text:



Berry, Roger. “Re-articulating the articles.” ELT Journal 45 (1) (1991): 252-259.

Christophersen, Paul. The Articles: A Study of their Theory and Use in English. Copenhagen: Einar Munksgaard, 1939.

Eastwood, John. Oxford Practice Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Grannis, Oliver. “The definite article conspiracy in English.” Language Learning 22 (2) (1972): 275-89.

Lindstromberg, Seth. “Guidelines for teaching the English article system.” Cross Currents 13 (1) (1986): 31-41.

Lyons, Christopher. Definiteness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999

Master, Peter. “Teaching the English articles as a binary system.” TESOL Quarterly 24 (3) (1990): 461-78.

Master, Peter. “The English Article System: Acquisition, Function, and Pedagogy.” System 25 (2) (1997): 215-232.

McEldowney, Patricia L. “A teaching grammar of the English article system.” International Review of Applied Linguistics 15 (2) (1997): 95-112.

Pica, Teresa. “The Article in American English: What the textbooks don’t tell us.” in N. Wolfson & E. Judd (eds.) Sociolinguistics and Language Acquisition (1983): 222-233. Rowley MA: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.

Pica, Teresa. “The selective impact of classroom instruction on second language acquisition.” Applied Linguistics 6 (3) (1985): 214-22.

Quirk, Randolph, and Sidney Greenbaum. A University Grammar of English. London: Longman, 1973.

Russell, Bertrand. “On Denoting.” Mind 14 (1905): 479-493.

Shuttleworth, Mark, and Moira Cowie. Dictionary of Translation Studies. New York: Routledge, 2014.

Stevanović, Mihailo. Savremeni srpskohrvatski jezik. Beograd: Naučna knjiga, 1991.

Swan, Michael. “Design Criteria for Pedagogic Language Rules”, accessed June 12, 2014

Trenkić, Danijela. “Definiteness in Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian and some implications for the general structure of the nominal phrase.” Lingua 114 (2004): 1401-1427.

Whitman, Randal L. “Teaching the article in English.” TESOL Quarterly 8 (3) (1974): 253-62.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2334-9182 (Print)
ISSN 2334-9212 (Online)