The Effects of Explicit vs. Implicit Instruction on Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Acquisition of English Definite and Indefinite Articles

Document Type : Research Paper


Isfahan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan), Isfahan, Iran


The present study aims at investigating the differential effects of two types of instruction (explicit versus implicit) on the learning of English articles by Iranian EFL learners. To achieve this aim, 90 intermediate undergraduate students at Islamic Azad University, Shahreza Branch, whose major was English Translation were selected for the experiment. Then, they were divided into three groups namely, explicit group (EG), implicit group (IG), and control group (CG). The EG received instruction on English articles through two popular grammar books-- namely ‘Essential Grammar in Use’ by Murphy (1998) and ‘Oxford Practice Grammar’ by Eastwood (1999). The second group received instruction on English articles by employing the technique of textual input enhancement. The third group received similar instruction like IG except that English articles were not enhanced for this group. After analyzing the data on pre- and posttests, the results showed that the three groups of EG, IG, and CG improved significantly from pretest to posttests. Moreover, on the posttest, the EG learners significantly outweighed the IG learners, who were in turn found to be significantly better than their counterparts in the CG. The results of this study have several important implications for the classroom practice concerning the controversial issue of teaching English articles.


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