International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2006 and Cultural Inclusivity through Publishing Special Issue



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Issues in language learning

John P. Keeves 
Flinders University 

I Gusti Ngurah Darmawan 
University of Adelaide


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This article considers the current debate in Australia into the learning of literacy and foreign languages. It examines not only the literacy levels attained by Australian students in their national language (English) in comparison to these in other countries, as well as between Australian states, but also theories involved in school learning and the learning of language, with particular reference to the learning of a foreign language. The article raises and discusses 12 issues that arise in language learning. It is noted that in many countries it is necessary for students to learn at least three languages, namely, the mother language, their national language and an appropriate foreign language, that make heavy demands on the time available in the curriculum of the schools if adequate levels of competence in language usage are to be attained.

Language learning, foreign languages, literacy, curriculum time, second language, mother tongue, national language


Keeves, J.P. and Darmawan, I.G.N. (2007) Issues in language learning. International Education Journal, 8 (2), 16-26.

All text and graphics 1999-2007 Shannon Research Press. ISSN 1443-1475.