Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

THE EFFECT of EXPLICIT TEACHING VS IMPLICIT TEACHING ON IRANIAN EFL LEARNERS' KNOWLEDGE OF MODAL VERBS

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

THE EFFECT of EXPLICIT TEACHING VS IMPLICIT TEACHING ON IRANIAN EFL LEARNERS' KNOWLEDGE OF MODAL VERBS

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1.Introduction

Nowadays, there is a general agreement that English is the international language of many fields of study including science and technology and also humanities. As a result, many people around the world are now experiencing "English fever," which is a great desire to learn English, especially how to engage in conversation in English. This motivates a good number of researchers and scientists to learn English to communicate with other countries.

According to McWhorter (1998), every language and dialect has its own set of unwritten rules that determine how it is spoken or written. Weaver (cited by Williams, 1999) states that grammar is the name of the prescriptive rules which help to organize the language. Furth er he says "grammar is concerned primarily with correctness and with the categorical names for the words that make up sentences" (Weaver, 1996, p. 57).

How grammar is best acquired and taught has been a major issue at the center of many controversies in second language acquisition research. It becomes even more controversial when young learners are concerned.

A topic of unending discussion for perhaps half a century now questions about the effectiveness of explicit and implicit. These two terms have been variously defined by psychologists, but their distinction in SLA research may be best capsulized by saying that" explicit learning involves conscious awareness and intention, and implicit learning is learning without conscious attention, or, awareness "( Williams 2005, p. 137).

" Implicit learning occurs without intention to learn and without awareness of what has been learned" (Williams 2005, p. 50).As noted in William's definition intentional and incidental learning a re synonymous to explicit and implicit learning .

When individuals deliberately use problem-solving strategies such as generating or testing hypotheses to acquire knowledge, the process of learning is considered explicit and is called èxplicit l earning' (Berry and Dienes, 1993) or s-mode learning (Hayes and Broadbent, 1988). When individuals accumulate knowledge passively and no conscious analytic strategies are used, the learning process is considered implicit and is called 'implicit learning'(Berry and Dienes, 1993) or u-mode learning (Hayes and Broadbent, 1988).

It seems to be clear, however, that attention - the psychological state of focusing on certain stimuli to the exclusion of others - can occur under both conditions. Bialystok lat er (1982) equated implicit and explicit with the synonymous terms 'unanalysed' and 'analysed' knowledge. Unanalyzed knowledge is the general form in which we know most things without being aware of the structure of that knowledge.

McLaughlin (1990) used the automatic and nonautomatic terms. Knowledge that can be retrieved easily and quickly is automatic. Knowledge that takes time and effort to be retrieved is nonautomatic.

Researches and discussions on grammar teaching, has recently foc used on three options - "focus-on-forms," "focus-on-meaning," and "focus-on-form" (Long, 1991). In focus-on-forms instruction, language is separated into isolated linguistic units and taught in a sequential manner through explicit explanations of gram mar rules and immediate correction of errors. Classes follow a typical sequence of performance of a grammatical structure, its practice in organized exercises, and the provision of chances for production (Ellis, Basturkmen & Loewen, 2002).

Few studies investigated teacher views concerning grammar teaching and found that teachers in general believe that grammar is essential to language learning and students need direct and explicit teaching of grammar rules for accuracy (Burges & Etherington, 2002; Potgieter & Conradie, 2013).The underlying logic of this approach is that the explicit knowledge about grammar rules will turn into implicit knowledge with enough practice (De Keyser, 1998). …

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