The significance of the implicit vs. explicit distinction for language pedagogy

Rod Ellis
Friday, 2 September 2011 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

This talk will begin by briefly examining the following distinctions: (1) implicit vs. explicit learning, (2) implicit vs. explicit knowledge and (3) implicit vs. explicit instruction. It will examine the significance of these distinctions for language pedagogy by addressing the following questions:

  1. How can teachers cater to ‘implicit learning’ in classroom instruction?
  2. How can teachers cater to ‘explicit learning’ in classroom instruction?
  3. What role does ‘explicit learning/ knowledge’ play in L2 learning?
  4. What constitutes an appropriate balance between implicit and explicit language instruction in a language curriculum?

The talk concludes with examples of how ‘tasks’ can be used to construct a curriculum that maximises opportunities for students to develop their implicit and explicit knowledge of a second/foreign language in a classroom context.

Rod Ellis is currently Professor in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics, University of Auckland, where he teaches postgraduate courses on second language acquisition, individual differences in language learning and task-based teaching. He is also a professor in the MA in TESOL program in Anaheim University and a visiting professor at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) as part of China’s Chang Jiang Scholars Program. His published work includes articles and books on second language acquisition, language teaching and teacher education. His books include Understanding Second Language Acquisition (BAAL Prize 1986) and The Study of Second Language Acquisition (Duke of Edinburgh prize 1995), Task-Based Learning and Teaching (2003), and Analyzing Learner Language (with Gary Barkhuizen) in (2005). A second edition of The Study of Second Language Acquisition was published in 2008 and Implicit and Explicit Knowledge in Language Learning, Testing and Teaching in 2009. He has also published several English language textbooks, including Impact Grammar (Pearson: Longman). He is also currently editor of the journal Language Teaching Research. In addition to his current position in New Zealand, he has worked in schools in Spain and Zambia and in universities in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. He has also conducted numerous consultancies and seminars throughout the world.


This is a joint presentation with ETJ Kitakyushu.
Free for JALT members; 500yen for ETJ members and 1000 yen for non members.