Second Language Acquisition (SLA), as a sub – discipline in applied linguistics, is rapidly growing and changing (Ellis & Shintani, 2014). As such, it has yielded stirring issues on both naturalistic and instructed settings causing reviews and/or investigations by language researchers. This paper accordingly serves as a humble attempt at critically reviewing the related literature of instructed SLA particularly direct instruction as situated in the landscape of language teaching. Initially, the paper kicks-off with the essentials of direct instruction. It subsequently delves into the importance of such th instruction, and this extends to the analysis of notably empirical studies conducted in the 20 century and currently st empirical studies in the 21 century. In regards of these, the paper arrives at conclusions, recommendations, and trajectories for future SLA studies.

Second Language Acquisition, Direct Instruction, Empirical Studies on Direct Instruction in SLA.
How to Cite this Article?
Hernandez, P. H. (2017). Direct Instruction in Second Language Acquisition: A Critical Review of Related Literature. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 7(1), 43-56.
[1]. Briere, E., (1978). “Variables affecting native Mexican children's learning Spanish as a second language”. Language Learning, Vol.28, No.1, pp.159-174.
[2]. Carroll, E. (1967). “Foreign language proficiency levels attained by language majors near graduation from college”. Foreign Language Annals, Vol.1, No.2, pp.131- 151.
[3]. Chihara, T, and Oller, J. (1978). “Attitudes and attained proficiency in EFL: A sociolinguistic study of adult Japanese speakers”. Language Learning, Vol.28, No.1, pp.55-68.
[4]. Corder, S.P. (1967). “The significance of learners' errors”. International Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol.5, No.2-3, pp.161-169.
[5]. De Graaff, R., and Housen, A. (2009). “Investigating the effects and effectiveness of L2 instruction”. In M. H. Long and C. J. Doughty (Eds.), The Handbook of Language Teaching, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp.726-755.
[6]. Doughty, C. (2004). “Effects of instruction on learning a second language: A critique of instructed SLA research”. In Bill Van Patten, Jessica Williams, and Susanne Rott (Eds.), Form-meaning Connections in Second Language Acquisition, pp.189–212. Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
[7]. Doughty, C., (2003). “Instructed SLA: Constraints, compensation, and enhancement”. In C. J. Doughty and M. H. Long (Eds.), The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition, Malden, MA: Blackwell, pp.256–310.
[8]. Ellis, R., (1984). “Can syntax be taught? A study of the effects of formal instruction on the acquisition of WH questions by children”. Applied Linguistics, Vol.5, No.2, pp.138-155.
[9]. Ellis, R., (1985). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press.
[10]. Ellis, R., (1991). Second Language Acquisition and Language Pedagogy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
[11]. Ellis, R., (2002). “Does form-focused instruction affect the acquisition of implicit knowledge? A review of the research”. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol.24, No.2, pp.223-236.
[12]. Ellis, R., (2005). Instructed Second Language Acquisition: A Literature Review. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.
[13]. Ellis, R., (2008). “Explicit form-focused instruction and second language acquisition”. In: Bernard Spolsky and Fransis Hult (Eds.), The Handbook of Educational Linguistics, Oxford: Blackwell. pp.437–455.
[14]. Ellis, R. (2010). “Does explicit grammar instruction work?” National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics, Vol.2, pp.3-22.
[15]. Ellis, R., and Shintani, N. (2014). Exploring Language Pedagogy through Second Language Acquisition Research. New York, NY: Routledge.
[16]. Fathman, A., (1975). “The relationship between age and second language productive ability”. Language Learning, Vol.25, No.2, pp.245-253.
[17]. Fathman, A., (1976). “Variables affecting the successful learning of English as a second language”. TESOL Quarterly, Vol.10, No.4, pp.433-441.
[18]. Fathman, A., (1978). “ESL and EFL learning: Similar or dissimilar?” In C. Blatchford & J. Schachter (Eds.), TESOL '78: EFL Policies, Program, Practices. Washington, D.C.: TESOL.
[19]. Felix, S., (1981). “The effect of formal instruction on second language acquisition”. Language Learning, Vol.31, No.1, pp.87-112.
[20]. Finger, I., and Vasquez, F.D.O. (2010). “The role of explicit instruction in the acquisition of the present perfect”. RBLA, Belo Horizonte, Vol.10, No.4, pp.837-858.
[21]. Fotos, S., (1993). “Consciousness-raising and noticing through focus on form: Grammar task performance vs. formal instruction”. Applied Linguistics, Vol.14, No.4, pp.385-407.
[22]. Fotos, S., (1994). “Integrating grammar instruction and communicative language use through grammar consciousness-raising tasks”. TESOL Quarterly, Vol.28, No.2, pp.323-351.
[23]. Fotos, S., and Ellis, R., (1991). “Communicating about grammar: A task-based approach”. TESOL Quarterly, Vol.25, No.4, pp.605-628.
[24]. Gardaoui, N., and Farouk, B., (2015). “The effects of two grammar teaching options on learning complex grammatical structures”. International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities, Vol.3, No.1, pp.711-730.
[25]. Gass, S.M., and Selinker, L., (2008). Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.
[26]. Harley, B., (1989). “Functional grammar in French immersion: A classroom experiment”. Applied Linguistics, Vol.10, No.3, pp.331-59.
[27]. Hawkins, R., and Towell, R., (1996). “Why teach grammar?” In D. Engel & F. Myles (Eds.), Teaching Grammar: Perspectives in Higher Education, London: Association for French Language Studies and Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research, pp.195-211.
[28]. Krashen, S.J., Seliger, H., and Hartnett, D., (1974). “Two studies in adult second language learning”. Kritikom Litterarum, Vol.3, pp.220-228.
[29]. Krashen, S.J., and Seliger, H., (1976). “The role of formal and informal linguistic environments in adult second language learning”. International Journal of Psycholinguistics, Vol.3, pp.5-21.
[30]. Krashen, S. (1977). “Some issues relating to the monitor model”. In J. Brown, C. Yorio, & R. Crymes (Eds.), TESOL '77 Teaching and Learning English as a Second Language, Washington, D.C.: TESOL, (pp. 144-158).
[31]. Krashen, S.D., Butler, J., Birnbaum, R., and Robertson, J. (1978). “Two studies in language acquisition and language learning”. ITL: Review of Applied Linguistics, Vol.39-40, pp.73-92.
[32]. Krashen, S.D., (2013). “The effect of direct instruction on pronunciation: Only evident when conditions for monitor use are met”. Gist Education and Learning Research Journal, Vol.7, pp.271 – 275.
[33]. Long, M., (1991). “Focus on form: A design feature in language teaching methodology”. In K. de Bot, R. Ginsberg & C. Kramsch (Eds.), Foreign Language Research in Crosscultural Perspective, Amsterdam: John Benjamin, pp.39-52.
[34]. Lightbown, P.M., (1983). “Exploring relationships between developmental and instructional sequences in L2 acquisition”. In H. Seliger & M. Long (Eds.), Classroomoriented Research in Language Acquisition, Rowley MA: Newbury House, pp.217-243.
[35]. Lyster, R., and Ranta, L., (1997). “Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms”. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Vol.19, pp.37-66.
[36]. Macaro, E., and Masterman, L., (2006). “Does intensive explicit grammar instruction make all the difference?” Language Teaching Research, Vol.10, No.3, pp.297–327.
[37]. Makino, T. (1979). “English morpheme acquisition order of Japanese secondary school students”. TESOL Quarterly, Vol.13, No.3, pp.428-449.
[38]. Mason, C., (1971). “The relevance of intensive training in English as a foreign language for university students”. Language Learning, Vol.21, No.2, pp.197-204.
[39]. Mendiola, C.M., (2016). The Filipino as a Second Language Learner. [Class handout]. Manila, Philippines: Author.
[40]. Muranoi, H., (2000). “Focus on form through interaction enhancement”. Language Learning, Vol.50, No.4, pp.617-673.
[41]. Nazari, N. (2013). “The effect of implicit and explicit grammar instruction on learners achievements in receptive and productive modes”. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol.70, pp.156-162.
[42]. Nasr, K.A.M. (2015). “The impact of explicit grammar instruction on EFL learners' oral communication skills”. SUST Journal of Humanities, Vol.16, No.1, pp.144-157.
[43]. Nezakat – Alhossaini, M., Youhanaee, M., and Moinzadeh, A., (2014). “Impact of explicit instruction on EFL learners' implicit and explicit knowledge: A case of English relative clauses”. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, Vol.10, No.2, pp.183-199.
[44]. Norris, J., and Ortega, L. (2000). “Effectiveness of L2 instruction: A research synthesis and quantitative metaanalysis”. Language Learning, Vol.50, No.3, pp.417-528.
[45]. Pica, T. (1983). “Adult acquisition of English as a second language under different conditions of exposure”. Language Learning, Vol.33, No.4, pp.465-497.
[46]. Pienemann, M. (1985). “Learnability and syllabus construction”. In K. Hyltenstam & M. Pienemann (Eds.), Modelling and Assessing Second Language Acquisition, Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters.
[47]. Pienemann, M. (1989). “Is language teachable? Psycholinguistic experiments and hypotheses”. Applied Linguistics, Vol.10, No.1, pp.52-79.
[48]. Ricketts, C. and Ehrensberger - Dow, M. (2007). Assessing the Impact of Explicit Grammar Instruction on translation into English. Retrieved from https://home. zhaw.ch/~ehre/files/Ricketts_Ehrensberger_Grammar_ Instruction.pdf
[49]. Sajavaara, K. (1981). “The Nature of First Language transfer: English as L2 in a Foreign Language Setting”. First European-North American Workshop in Second Language Acquisition Research, Lake Arrowhead, California
[50]. Tamayo, A.G. (2010). The Role and Effect of Explicit Grammar Instruction in SLA. Retrieved from http://academicae. unavarra.es/bitstream/handle/2454/15020/73570_ Gonzalez%20Tamayo%2c%20Andrea. pdf?sequence=1
[51]. Tavakoli, M., Dastjerdi, H.V., and Esteki, M. (2011). “The effect of explicit strategy instruction on L2 oral production of Iranian intermediate EFL learners: Focusing on accuracy, fluency and complexity”. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol.2, No.5, pp.989-997.
[52]. Thornbury, S., (1999). How to Teach Grammar. London: Longman Group Ltd.
[53]. Truscott, J. (1999). “What's wrong with oral grammar correction?” Canadian Modern Language Review, Vol.55, pp.437-56.
[54]. Upshur, J. (1968). “Four experiments on the relation between foreign language teaching and learning”. Language Learning, Vol.18, No.1-2, pp.111-124.
[55]. VanPatten, B. (1996). Input Processing and Grammar Instruction in Second Language Acquisition. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
[56]. Wang, G.H., and Wang, S. (2014). “Explicit grammar instruction for EFL writing and editing: An exploratory study at a Korean university”. Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol.2, No.2, pp.65-73.
[57]. Wu, C.H., (2007). Spoken Grammaticality and EFL teacher candidates: Measuring the Effects of an Explicit Grammar Teaching Method on the Oral Grammatical Performance of Teacher Candidates. (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). The Ohio State University, Ohio, USA.
Username / Email
Don't have an account?  Sign Up
  • If you would like institutional access to this content, please recommend the title to your librarian.
    Library Recommendation Form
  • If you already have i-manager's user account: Login above and proceed to purchase the article.
  • New Users: Please register, then proceed to purchase the article.

Purchase Instant Access





We strive to bring you the best. Your feedback is of great value to us. Feel free to post your comments and suggestions.