Language awareness in a comprehensive approach to language teaching and learning

Michael Kelly


The importance of language awareness has been highlighted in the most recent policy document of the European Commission, in response to the disappointing progress of European citizens towards the aim of proficiency in a first language and in two other languages. Language awareness has a long history and many meanings and is well placed to draw together a range of strategies aiming to improve language learning and teaching in European education. This paper argues that the broad scope of language awareness provides both opportunities and challenges for educators and policy makers. It examines the experience of language awareness in the UK and suggests lessons that might be learned from its achievements and from the challenges it encountered. In particular, targeted initiatives will be required to explore the barriers that remain to be overcome, new research will be required, along with the development of tools, strategies and collaborations to extend language awareness into areas where it can bring fresh benefits.


Language awareness; language policy; European Commission; language proficiency; learning strategies; collaboration

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Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society | ISSN (online) 1971 - 8829 | ISSN (paper) 1826 - 6223 © 2017 Je-LKS - Italian e-Learning Association (SIe-L).