AUTOR(I): Marta V. Veličković
When it comes to article instruction in the EFL context no one is exempt from struggling with the process: neither the teachers, nor the students. Issues emerge not only because of the discrepancy between the students’ L1 and L2, but also because of the limited information contained in the textbooks pertaining to article suppliance. The rules found in textbooks mostly boil down to features related to noun type, and the potential accompanying article distribution patterns. However, focusing on only the morphosyntactic features of nouns, with little or no reference to the contextualized setting, further convolutes the issue.
Taking into consideration the general lack of data pertaining to the teaching of articles in the early stages of EFL acquisition, this study investigates how articles are presented and practised in elementary-school EFL textbooks. A corpus of 20 textbooks was compiled (the English Plus, Messages, To the Top, Project and Discover English courses), recently approved for use in grades 5 to 8 by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, for qualitative analysis. The results show which features of article use (Quirk et al. 1985) are (under)represented in the EFL textbooks, which types of examples (contextualized vs stand-alone) predominate, whether article-oriented exercises vary across grades and their respec- tive textbooks, and what this tells us about current practices of article instruction. In line with the obtained results, changes are proposed to teaching articles in the Serbian EFL classroom.
articles, EFL textbooks, teaching, English
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