I am currently taking linguistics and am required to tutor a student based on errors within a writing sample she has provided me. Currently, I am developing activities for determining when to use recently vs. lately but upon writing sentences myself I realize as a native speaker I can choose what sounds better to me but i can't put into words why one is the better choice. Any advice?
Lately is used to describe a repetitive event in the past which hasn't occurred in near past.
I haven't played cricked lately.
Recently is used to denote occurrence of an event in the near past.
I went to the workshop recently.
For more elaborate answer, please refer Difference between "recently" and "lately"