The present study aims to explore explicit and implicit grammar instruction in English writing. Specifically, it seeks to investigate whether grammar should be taught explicitly or implicitly in English composition classes in Taiwan, and which option can help students enhance their grammatical accuracy more effectively after a period of teaching. A quasi-experimental research design was carried out in comparing two treatment groups (i.e., an explicit grammar instruction group and an implicit grammar instruction group) who were 7th graders in two English classes in a junior high school. Results showed that students in the explicit teaching group improved more and received higher scores in a posttest and delayed posttest, as they made fewer grammatical errors in comparison with the group in which grammar was implicitly taught. Compared with students in the implicit teaching group, students in the explicit teaching group seemed to be more aware of the importance of correct grammar usage during writing. The finding supports the significance of metalinguistic awareness of grammar rules in English language learning. In addition, there was a discrepancy between students’ and teacher’s perceptions of explicit and implicit grammar instruction. The majority of students tended to favor explicit grammar instruction, which was contrary to teachers’ perceptions. This incongruence between students’ and teacher’s perceptions suggests that when teachers make decisions in grammar instruction, they may need to take students’ needs and concerns into consideration. Implications of this study are discussed and concluded.
Shih-Chieh Chien, National Taipei University of Business, Taiwan
Stream: Languages education and applied linguistics (ESL/TESL/TEFL)
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