A language is a systematic means of communication by the use of sounds or conventional symbols. It is a code to express and communicate to others. (Manivannan, 2006) According to Whitehead (2013), Indonesia is a rich country of linguistic and diversity. Bahasa Indonesia is the compulsory language of educational instruction at all levels of education since 1928. However, the progress in education has been much slower which shows that over 80% of the Indonesian populations speak languages other than Bahasa Indonesia as their mother tongue. The World Bank (citied by Whitehead, 2013) stated that Indonesian children do not have opportunity to learn the first language very well. Due to this situation, the national education ministry of Indonesia has prepared to not include English language in the new primary curriculum. (Whitehead, 2013) In fact, the interest of learning English from Indonesian society keeps increasing. (Rustam, 2012) People might think that English is still necessary to be learned because English is international language which has been used globally, English could be considered in order to get a job, and English also has a big role in technology development.
English is international or global language which used by most people around the world. In Bhattacharya’s (2011) point of view, English has become extremely necessary for all people. It is the most widely used language out of the 4,000 to 5,000 live languages spoken in the world. Dawis (citied by Oinishi 2010) said that the dilution of local language which is Bahasa Indonesia in this case is occurring naturally, not because of a deliberate government policy. Mastering a foreign language does not mean your love for your country will fade away. (Muhammad, citied in The Jakarta Post 2012) It will prepare someone especially the students to live in a wider environment due to English has been existed in any departments, such as tourism, science, business, and others. (Bhattacharya, 2011) This phenomenon brings English to be international language which most people used globally.
Some companies require English as the standard qualification to get a job. Batthacharya (2011) sees that the demand of good communication in English comes from multinational companies and there will be more opportunities for those who are fluent in English. The competence of English will be considered to enter a good school, to get a better job, or to be promoted to a higher position in the workplace. Some of Indonesian people are also currently having an import and export business with foreigners from Asian continent which will use English to discuss and the business. (Siregar, 2009: 70, 71) English skill is necessary for Indonesian workers to compete with other countries’ migrant workers. It shows that the demand of using English will increase by the time. (KabariNews, 2012) According to Ramil (2012), by having ability in English, people could achieve successful international career in any fields. It also helps to open the door to the rest of the world. For these reasons, English becomes one of requirement to get a job in several companies.
Another thing should be considered is English has a big role in the development of technology. Lauder (2008) argues that everyone should have opportunity to learn English. It is because English is essential for development. The development of information and communication technology gives a big opportunity to use English. (Wibisono, 2012) Sugono (citied by Wibisono, 2012) also found that the spreading of English has been wide into meetings, electronic media, even the Indonesian book titles. People realized the globalization happened everywhere. Muhammad as Indonesian Education and Culture Ministry’s director general for secondary education (citied in The Jakarta Post, 2012) sees Indonesian is becoming more global with country’s booming economy so that learning and mastering English is a must. As the world changing, it will deal with technology development which also shows the role of English.
The pro and cons about language, especially English in Indonesia take some experts’ attention to dig up and argue their ideas. Some people or institution could disagree due to the announcement for not requiring English subject in Government primary schools. It is proved by the numbers of society which grow up through English’s interest. People consider English as international language which spoken globally. The existence of English has brought a phenomenon in Indonesia. People also need English skill since some companies require it as the standard qualification. The business in international field will use English as a tool to communicate. In addition, the development of technology triggers a role of English. People seem cannot avoid for using English in order to follow any changing. Those are several reasons why Indonesian government should re-think about English regulation in schools.
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