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One often-cited study supporting the view that explicit is better is Norris and Ortega (2000):

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/0023-8333.00136/abstract

However, I think that we shouldn't take this to mean we should only do 100% explicit and 0% implicit. There are pros and cons to both, and so the best kind of teaching should try to strike a balance between the two. In thinking through these issues, you might find these articles useful:

  • languagelinks2006.wikispaces.com/Implicit+vs.+Explicit+Teaching
  • eslbase.com/articles/grammar-implicit-explicit
  • myenglishpages.com/blog/explicit-implicit-grammar-teaching/