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This study examined whether explicit or implicit teaching is more efficient in improving Korean middle school students’ English verb−noun collocation knowledge. Forty Korean EFL middle school students participated in the study and they were assigned to either the explicit instruction or implicit instruction group. The participants’ English verb−noun collocation knowledge was measured through pre-, immediate post-, and delayed post-tests over the 5-week experimental period, and a survey of participants’ opinions on the instruction they received was carried out. The results showed that the students who received the explicit collocation instruction displayed better learning outcomes, suggesting the immediate influence of the explicit instruction, and more importantly the sustained initial advantage. That is, the explicit group students did retain the target items significantly better than the implicit group students. The responses from the two groups also indicated the positive effects of the explicit collocation instruction. The explicit group students were mostly satisfied with the instruction and showed increased confidence in acquiring English collocations while the implicit students did not. This study provides L2 teachers with valuable information on how to teach L2 collocation more effectively.