Publication Date



School of Communication; School of Education


TESL--Teacher Certification

Primary Subject Area

Language, Modern


Korean, ESL, English definite articles, second language acquisition


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures


Misuse of English articles is a very common error among ESL students. If a student’s first language does not contain an article, learning a second language that has an article system will prove to be very difficult. Korean is an example of a language that does not contain articles, but instead relies heavily on the context of the sentence, as well as determiners to indicate definiteness and specificity. In order to understand how students learn and acquire English articles, a basic understanding is needed of Language Acquisition and theories of Second Language Acquisition. These explanations are continued through various literature reviews and studies. To further emphasize the common mistakes of the definite article by Korean students, research is carried out based on six high school ESL students and their personal journal entries for their ESL class. It is predicted that omission of the definite article is very common among Korean ESL students based on other studies, and this hypothesis is borne out. Suggestions for further research are discussed, as well as pedagogical implications of this topic for ESL teachers.