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The relative effects of explicit and implicit form-focused instruction on the development of L2 pragmatic competence
Pragmatic competence
Form-focused instruction
Speech act
Constructive criticism
Second language acquisition
Interlanguage pragmatics
Issue Date: 
Nguyen, T. T. M., Pham, T. H., & Pham, M. T. (2012). The relative effects of explicit and implicit form-focused instruction on the development of L2 pragmatic competence. Journal of Pragmatics, 44(4), 416-434.
This study evaluates the relative effectiveness of two types of form-focused instruction on the acquisition of the speech act of constructive criticism by sixty nine Vietnamese learners of English. Over a 10 week course, the explicit group (N=28) participated in consciousness-raising activities, received explicit meta-pragmatic explanation and correction of errors of forms and meanings. The implicit group (N=19), on the other hand, participated in pragma-linguistic input enhancement and recast activities. The two treatment groups were compared with a control group (N=22) on pre-test and post-test performance, consisting of a discourse completion task, a role play and an oral peer-feedback task. A delayed post-test comprising of the same production tasks was also conducted for the two treatment groups to measure long term retention. The results
revealed that both of the treatment groups significantly improved in the immediate post-test over the pre-test, outperforming the control group. The treatment groups also maintained their improvement in the delayed post-test. However, the explicit group performed significantly better than the implicit group on all measures. These findings are discussed with implications for classroom practices and future research.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Pragmatics. The published version is available online at
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