The Art of Teaching Articles (Part Three)

Recently I faced the challenge of explaining article usage to my beginner student, Natasha, whom you may know from my new series on YouTube. I hadn’t planned to focus on the difference between indefinite and definite articles yet, but as you know students’  needs and interests can easily change our game plan. I ended up creating…

Student Stumper 31: Can abstract nouns be specific?

QUESTION: How can I know if an uncountable noun, which is modified by an adjective, is specific or not? Should I ignore the modifier when deciding the use of the definite article or zero article? ANSWER: This question was recently posted on my YouTube channel. The advanced ELL provided lengthy examples of abstract nouns in context…

English Articles: One of the Trickiest Grammar Topics on Earth

While doing research for my next video lesson on articles, I stumbled over the use of the definite article with the name of our planet. When do we refer to it as “the Earth” and when do we simply say “Earth”? For that matter, do we always have to capitalize the name or is it…

Online Shopping: Using Online Ads to Teach Articles

The topic of articles has become a beast I’m determined to tame through a video series. The beast sometimes frightens me and forces me to retreat a few steps, but then I regain my determination to move forward. I’ve created my introduction to articles, and I’m just about ready to publish my next video on…

The Art of Teaching Articles: Ideas for Presentation and Practice

How do you like to present the infamous trio a, an, and the to students? Even with upper level students, I feel that a review of the basic principles is always in order. I also find that a concrete task (highly visual and/ or tactile) allows either the illustration or discovery of those so-called rules….

Student Stumper 19: Americans vs. The Americans

QUESTION: My grammar book says I should use the before nationalities and gives the Americans as an example. But when I listen to people talk, I often hear Americans with no article. Which way is right? ANSWER: This question was posted in the comment section on my YouTube channel, and the current monthly poll on…