Distinguishing implicit and explicit knowledge of language
John Williams (University of Cambridge)
Psychologists draw a distinction between implicit and explicit knowledge. I will discuss subjective, behavioural, and neurological criteria for distinguishing these knowledge types in the context of language. I will then discuss how these criteria relate to methods of knowledge measurement, and illustrate how they have been applied in laboratory-based language learning experiments. I will then discuss potential relevance to the assessment of second language knowledge more generally.
John Williams specialises in the cognitive mechanisms of second language learning and second language lexical and syntactic processing. His work draws on theoretical concepts and experimental methodologies from cognitive psychology and applies these to second language processing and learning using laboratory-based methods. His recent research focuses on implicit learning of form-meaning connections, and incidental learning of word order regularities. He has published numerous articles on these topics in journals such as The Journal of Experimental Psychology, Language Learning, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and Applied Psycholinguistics. He has also written overview chapters on implicit learning (New Handbook of Applied Linguistics, Emerald) and working memory in second language acquisition (Handbook of Second Language Acquisition, Routledge) and is area editor of the Cognitive Approaches to Second Language Acquisition section of the Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Wiley Blackwell). His current research concerns interactions between implicit and explicit knowledge in second language acquisition.