Explicit and Implicit Instruction of Requestive Strategies: A Comparison of the Effects on Upper -intermediate English Learners’ Email Writing Development

Document Type : Research Paper


1 English Department, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 English Department, Khorram Abad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khorram Abad, Iran


This study compared the efficacy of explicit and implicit instruction of requestive strategies on upper-intermediate female English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ email writing development. Sixty-two participants in four intact classes were randomly assigned to two explicit and implicit groups. In this quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design study two email evaluation tests and two written discourse completion tests (WDCT) were used to collect the data. In the pretest phase, an email evaluation test and a WDCT were administered to the participants in two sessions. Next, the two groups were provided with ten treatment sessions. The explicit group received direct instruction and metapragmatic explanation on the use of appropriate requestive strategies in writing emails. The implicit group, however, received instruction on writing requestive emails without any explicit explanation about the requestive strategies in emailing. Then, the participants took the posttest of email evaluation test and WDCT in two successive sessions. The results indicated that both modes of instruction exerted significant effects on the learners’ production of requestive strategies in English. The comparison of the two modes of instruction, nonetheless, indicated that the participants who underwent explicit instruction significantly surpassed those in the implicit group. The findings have implications for materials developers and instructors.


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