CISLL Publications

Author ORCID Identifier

Mandy Faretta-Stutenberg:

Kara Morgan-Short:

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

Learning without awareness reconsidered: A replication of Williams (2005)


Researchers in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) disagree as to whether or not learning can take place in the absence of awareness (e.g. Leow, 2000; Tomlin & Villa, 1994; Robinson, 1995b; Schmidt, 1990, 1993; Williams, 2004, 2005). On one hand, many researchers have found that some level of attention or awareness is necessary for linguistic development to occur (e.g. Leow 1997, 2000; Robinson, 1995a; Rosa & Leow, 2004; Schmidt, 1990, 1993). On the other hand, research has found evidence of implicit language learning, or learning in the absence of awareness (e.g. Williams, 2004, 2005). Hama and Leow (2010) performed an extension of Williams (2005), with various modifications to the methodology and participant inclusion criteria, and failed to find evidence of implicit learning of the form and meaning connections examined by Williams (2005). Thus, the question of whether the results of the Williams (2005) study can be generalized to other learner groups remains. The present study aimed to replicate Williams (2005) with the goal of gaining a more profound understanding of implicit learning by (1) examining learning in a group of learners with specific linguistic backgrounds and (2) utilizing a more fine grained analysis of awareness level.

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Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literature| Department of World Languages and Cultures

Special Interest Group

Second-Language Learning and Bilingualism

Original Citation

Faretta-Stutenberg, M. & Morgan-Short, K. (2011). Learning without awareness reconsidered: A replication of Williams (2005). In G. Granena et al. (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 2010 Second Language Research Forum: Reconsidering SLA Research, Dimensions, and Directions (pp. 18-28). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.