An ESL Lesson Plan on Articles: General vs. Specific

Articles can be especially difficult to teach to English Learners (ELs). The reason for this is that there are several rules surrounding when and how to use them! Luckily, Off2Class has this informative and educational lesson plan on articles for you to use with your students. Keep reading this article to learn where to download this lesson plan, what students will learn in it and teaching tips. 

When to teach this lesson

This lesson is designed to teach to students at a pre-Intermediate level. This means that they have mastered basic language skills and familiarity with plural nouns, a/an, frequency and time. Before starting this lesson, students should have a solid understanding of how to use the present simple tense. They should be starting to use the past and future tenses as well. This lesson can be used to introduce the difference between the articles a/an and the. 

What will students learn in this English grammar lesson plan on articles

As mentioned, this lesson plan is perfect to teach students the difference between a/an and the. To do this, they will learn to differentiate when to use these articles in different contexts. There are several gap-fill and multiple-choice exercises to help students retain this information. Moreover, students will learn how to use expressions of frequency such as once a week, twice a month and more. Finally, in this English grammar lesson plan on articles students will learn to use prices per quantity, such as $4 per pound.

You can download the lesson below:

How to teach general and specific articles

This English grammar lesson plan on articles is easier to teach than ever, especially when you download a Free Off2Class Account. Every Free Account comes with 150 free lessons (including this one) and helpful teacher notes that guide you through teaching. Teacher notes also include the correct answers to questions and activities. 

In any case, there are some tried and true ways to help you effectively teach articles. First, point out the role of articles in sentences. This could mean putting a verbal emphasis on articles while saying sentences out loud.  Also, you can display sentences and circle the articles in them for your students to see. In any case, implementing both of these techniques will ensure your student has visual and verbal cues to indicate the role of articles in sentences. 

Speaking of verbal emphasis, you should also have your student(s) repeat sentences out loud to further retention. Remember that students generally learn through memorization so verbal practice helps with this. 

Another great way to teach articles is to explain that a and an are not used to refer to specific items. While the article the is used to refer to specific items. Also, try to engage students with questions and supplementary activities. You might find it helpful to provide your students with an interesting text and ask them to find/circle the articles in it for homework.  

Finally, if you have familiarity with articles in other languages, you can compare articles in English to articles in other languages. Preferably, the native language of the students you are teaching. This comparison often makes it easier for students to understand the use of articles in English. 

All of us at Off2Class hope that this English grammar lesson on articles is of great use to you. We would love to hear from you. So be sure to let us know if you found this article and lesson plan helpful. Also, feel free to leave your best tips to teach articles in the comments so that you can help other teachers. Happy teaching! 

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