• Majid Hojjat Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Zuwati Hasim Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Background and Purpose: Explicit form-focused instruction has significantly contributed to second language learners’ explicit knowledge. However, the effect of explicit form-focus instruction (FFI) on second language learners’ implicit knowledge of grammatical forms has been argued by scholars. This study examined the effectiveness of explicit FFI on implicit knowledge of ESL learners.


Methodology: This quasi-experimental research was conducted at a selected international school in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. The collected data were analysed through the application of ANCOVA and Scheffe’s test.


Findings: The findings showed that when explicit FFI was implemented in the form of metalinguistic information and metalinguistic explanation of the target form, the implicit knowledge of students would not increase. This suggested that the role of explicit FFI as the most effective and reliable tool to enhance implicit knowledge of learners should be doubted.


Contributions: The theoretical implication of this study indicates that explicit FFI does not contribute to development of the second language implicit knowledge. Pedagogically, this study’s findings could be beneficial either for teachers looking for an effective method of teaching or for researchers to utilise it in their studies.

Keywords: Form-focused instruction (FFI), explicit FFI, implicit knowledge, explicit knowledge


Cite as:  Hojjat, M., & Hasim, Z. (2022). The effect of explicit form-focused instruction on the implicit knowledge of Malaysian English as second language learners. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(2), 61-80.


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