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I give private lessons to one student. Recently I have been teaching him articles, when to use a/an/the. He told me the other day that he understands the rules and everything but that he is still making mistakes in his daily conversations. He wants to know what he needs to do: more reading, more practice? I 'm meeting him again tonight. I'm thinking about suggesting that he just needs to practice it in daily life but know that as no one ever corrects him (why would they when they understand him) that it's difficult to practice.
Thanks in advance
The days run away like wild horses over the hills
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Dear Moon Unit,
You have taken the right approach by reviewing the articles with your student. You’re absolutely right, he does need to practise using them in daily life. You could suggest to your student that he asks people to correct him when he makes mistakes with articles. I’m sure his friends will be happy to do that for him. It’s also a good idea for you to be tough on him when he makes this type of mistake in class: don’t let a single error in the use of articles go uncorrected! The best way to do this (as I’m sure you’re already aware) is to indicate that a mistake has been made and ask him to correct it.
You can also suggest that he pays particular attention to the use of articles in newspapers, magazines, songs (any form of written or spoken English); encourage him to choose two or three examples of articles whenever you do a listening or reading activity and to explain the use of that article. This is something he can do in his daily life too.
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