Measuring Implicit and Explicit Grammatical Knowledge in Second Language Acquisition
C. P. Gunawardena
University of Kelaniya, Dalugama, 11600, LK
Previous research shows that due to non-facilitative first language (L1) transfer, second language (L2) speakers do not develop implicit knowledge of certain grammatical structures. Therefore, the present paper investigates whether L1-Sinhala–L2-English speakers could acquire implicit knowledge of English object pronouns. To achieve this goal, the paper compares data collected via an untimed grammaticality judgment task (untimed GJT) and an oral production task (OPT). The untimed GJT measured explicit knowledge, whereas implicit knowledge was measured by the OPT. The two tasks tested the knowledge of object pronouns by L2 English speakers. The object pronominalization differs in Sinhala and English. Object pronouns are expressed overtly in English. Sinhala has overt and null object pronouns. However, null object pronouns are ungrammatical in English. Under the facilitative transfer from Sinhala, L2 speakers would accept overt object pronouns (grammatical structure). On the other hand, under the non-facilitative transfer, they would accept null object pronouns (ungrammatical structure). A prediction was also made regarding the two tasks. If L2 English speakers had acquired explicit and implicit knowledge of object pronouns, they would be target-like on object pronouns in the two tasks. In the untimed GJT, the L2 speakers differentiated between grammatical and ungrammatical structures. However, they frequently used ungrammatical structures in the OPT. Therefore, the results suggest that implicit knowledge of object pronouns is still unavailable in Sinhala–English interlanguage.
How to Cite:
Gunawardena, C. P. (2022). Measuring Implicit and Explicit Grammatical Knowledge in Second Language Acquisition. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 2(2), 17–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljssh.v2i2.69
23 Aug 2022.