Explicit Article Instruction in Definiteness, Specificity, Genericity and Perception

  • Neal SnapeEmail author
  • Noriaki Yusa
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 16)


In our study, we focused on the nominal domain, as it is an area of persistent difficulty for Japanese learners of English. We administered pretests, instruction, and posttests to 14 participants. The instruction part covered three weeks of a 15-week semester. The participants were randomly divided into two groups: one instruction group (n = 7) and one control group (n = 7). The control group did not receive any instruction. The posttest was given at the end of the instruction period to both groups and again at the end of the semester. The instruction group received instruction about the properties of definiteness, specificity, and genericity. Learners were also given instruction on the perception of articles in spoken English. The results of our study show that despite the complexity of articles, learners did have a better understanding of specificity and their perception of the indefinite article in oral input improved. We discuss the implications of generative SLA research applied to the language classroom.


Definite Article Negative Evidence Noun Countability Universal Grammar Bare Plural 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study has been supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B, 21320078) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to Noriaki Yusa.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishGunma Prefectural Women’s UniversityTamamura-machi, Sawa-gunJapan
  2. 2.Miyagi Gakuin Women’s UniversitySendaiJapan

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