The Effect of Explicit, Implicit, and Modified-Implicit Instruction on EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Learning and Retention

Document Type : Original Article


1 University of Tehran, Iran

2 University of Qom, Iran

3 University of Tehran, Alborz Campus, Iran


The present study examined the effect of different vocabulary instruction methods on EFL learners’ vocabulary learning and retention. Elementary and advanced EFL learners (N = 120), selected through convenience sampling, were randomly assigned to three conditions (i.e., six groups for the two levels). The learners in the explicit group received vocabulary awareness-raising and pushed output activities. The implicit group was exposed to input flooding, while the modified-implicit group received the pushed output activity and input flooding. The vocabulary learning of the participants was measured using teacher-developed vocabulary tests. The results indicated that learners receiving explicit as well as modified-implicit activities outperformed those exposed to implicit instruction on vocabulary tests. This implies that awareness-raising as well as pushed output activities help learners notice, learn vocabulary better, and retain them longer. Several implications for teachers, materials developers, and syllabus designers on including pushed output activities with more involvement, and areas for further research are discussed.