Reexamining the Role of Implicit and Explicit Focus on Form: Iranian EFL Context

Sajad Afshari, Nasser Oroujlou


One of the most controversial questions raised by classroom second language acquisition (SLA) researchers is whether and how to include grammar in second language (L2) classrooms. Focus on form (FonF) was proposed as an alternative for the two polarized views, i.e., focus on formS and focus on meaning. It has been claimed that FonF is the most effective way of drawing learners’ attention to language forms in the context of meaning-centered language use; however, there is no consensus as to the degree to which it should be explicit. To this end, this paper tried to investigate the role of FonF instruction in Iranian EFL context in general and the role of implicit and explicit FonF techniques on their linguistic accuracy in particular. 45 EFL learners were randomly assigned to two experimental and one control group. The instruction, using dictogloss, was introduced and lasted for three weeks. Then the participants from the three groups took three posttests including structured interview, multiple choice, and grammaticality judgment. The findings indicated that the experimental groups 1 and 2 receiving FonF instruction outperformed the control group. Further analysis of the scores of the participants in the experimental groups demonstrated the outperformance of the experimental group receiving implicit FonF technique through clarification request and recast compared to the experimental group receiving post task explicit FonF.

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