Document Type : Original Article


1 Universitas Lambung Mangkurat, Indonesia

2 University of Anbar, Iraq

3 The Islamic University, Iraq

4 Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia


The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of knowing a second language (i.e., English) on learning a third language (i.e., Indonesian). In total, 40 Iraqi learners attending a general Indonesian course were selected and divided into two groups. The first group included 20 students who had different levels of English language proficiency in addition to their mother tongue (i.e., Arabic). The second group encompassed 20 students who only knew their mother tongue. Their final exam scores were the criteria for determining their third language achievement. According to the results, bilingualism of the participants (familiarity with English as a second/foreign language) positively affected their level of achievement in the third language (Indonesian). Therefore, English language proficiency was a key factor for these students’ success in learning a third language. Overall, familiarity with a second language seems to influence the level of competence in a third language.