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TESOL Videos - English Grammar Overview - Parts of Speech - Articles
And now we'll have a look at our articles. We can divide articles into these groupings: indefinite, using a or an, definite, using the, and oftentimes referred to as the zero article, is actually the absence of an article all together. With the indefinite article, we use it in a nonspecific way. "This is a pen," it's one of many pens. When using the definite article, we use it in a specific way. "This is the pen I'm using." We also use the indefinite article when mentioning something for the first time. "I have a boy and a girl." We use the definite article when mentioning that same thing an additional time or any additional times we mention it. So "I have a boy and a girl. The boy is eight and the girl is six." With the zero article, we don't use an article at all. We use it to talk about things in general or when we talk about all things together. So here, I would not use a or an, and I would simply say, "Pens are used for writing," or "Children go to school." When looking at articles, we have to remember that they always precede nouns. When looking at "a versus an", many people consider this to be a differentiation between spellings. The noun will either start with a vowel or a consonant. More accurately, this should be described with how the noun sounds. Does it start with a vowel or a consonant sound? Let's look at the two words "hour" and "university". While "hour" starts with an H, it actually sounds like it starts with a vowel sound. The resulting sentences are "I'll be there in an hour." Again, that's "an hour". "University" starts with a U, a vowel. However, it sounds like it starts with a "y", "university". However, when we write it or when we say it, we say it with an "a", the a article. An example sentence could be: "Cambridge is a university in England." And finally, let's take a look at our conjunctions. Conjunctions are linking or joining words, for example: and, but, and or. Take these two sentences. Independent clauses: I like fish. I don't like shrimp. We would use "but" in here. So, we could easily make one sentence: "I like fish but I don't like shrimp." If I wanted to say that I like fish, I like shrimp, I would simply say "and": "I like fish and I like shrimp." "Or" could be used in giving choices, such as in the question "Do you like fish or shrimp?"
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In this unit I learnt how to use different sources of materials. Sometimes a teacher needs to use materials provided by a school but sometimes other materials created by a teacher. These materials can be divided into 2 groups: authentic and created materials. Authentic materials imply sources of information such as newspapers, songs or poems, anything that a native speaker uses in a real life to get information from, where a learner can find natural English language. Teacher should select these materials carefully because they are not designed for ESL lessons. Created materials are usually designed by teachers and include flashcards, crosswords, gap fill activities, picture stories etc. Such materials can be graded to students level. Also a teacher can use course books in the classroom. Typically course books pack include 3 books: student?s book, workbook, teacher?s book, other materials such as CD, flashcards, reading books, dictionaries etc. Usage of course books has some advantages and disadvantages. Advantages: students expect using course books; it?s easier to use course books than to create materials; books are graded for students level; it offers continuity and progression; they are good for inexperienced teachers. Disadvantages of course books: they shouldn't be used for the whole class, otherwise using only these books can become boring for students; they don't always fit the interests and needs of a particular class; a course books is almost always a compromise; students or a teacher mat not like the book. The best usages of a course book can be the following: considering items that can motivate students and items that are to be replaced, supplemented or adapted; creating a balanced lesson with a range of skills that are being taught; matching a book to needs of students.