How to teach articles to your ESL students (1)

We have developed a set of eight lesson plans to help you teach the use of articles to your students!

Our eight articles lesson plans (N11 – Articles-A/An-The – 1 to 8) can be found under the Nouns section of our library.
As experienced ESL teachers, we have all heard students ask us, ‘how do I know when to use a and when to use the?’. Or worse, ‘why is it the Earth and not the Jupiter?”. The problem with these questions is that the answers are quite complex! That’s why we’ve developed eight lesson plans covering the different uses of articles across as many different scenarios that we could think of. In general, we don’t think articles should be taught in isolation, so we’ve paired our articles lessons with significant amounts of vocabulary and noun practice.
Rather than filling our articles lesson plans with repeated grammar rules, each lesson focuses on two to three grammar rules surrounding articles and provides significant repeated exercises to familiarize the student with the concepts discovered.

Lesson 1: N11.1 – Articles/A-An-The – 1

In our first lesson we begin with the basics: the use of the when it is clear which noun we are referring to and the use a/an when we are not referring to a specific noun. We provide ample exercises for your students to become comfortable with this concept (as this rule is foundational). We then explain that the can be used before places (e.g. the post office, the bank) when it is clear which specific place we are referring to. We finalize the lesson by introducing a with expressions of frequency (e.g. once a week) and prices ($4 a pound).
articles articles

Lesson 2: N11.2 – Articles/A-An-The – 2

In our second lesson we start to examine some special uses of articles:

  • Using the when there is only one of something (e.g. the equator)
  • Using the before same (e.g. the same dress)
  • Using the with specific nouns (e.g. the Earth, the Internet)
  • Using a/an when we are saying what type of noun something is (e.g. a great movie)

We also remind students that we do not use a/an or the with plural countable nouns. For each rule we provide your students with significant opportunities to practice through gapfills and sentence correction exercises.

Have our articles lesson plans helped you teach your ESL students? Let us know!

No comments

Leave a reply

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *