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Indonesia has long been using English as a high power language as a language of modern communication, while the national language is regarded as a force of unifying the nation and local languages as carriers of ‘tradition’ or ‘historical’ identity (Lie , 2017). Indonesia has chosen English as the foreign language to be taught all over Indonesia and inserted as part of the curriculum. In practice, English has been taught as a foreign language in the curriculum in Grades 7 through 12 as well as at the university level. Although in the new curriculum (K-2013), English as a subject has been reduced to its implementation in school, the importance of English is still hot issue to teaching curriculum application.
On the other hand, Indonesia is rich in its ethno-linguistic population. The population is mostly tolerant in linguistic diversity. The history of youth pledge in 1928 which says that Bahasa Indonesia is a national language has shown that Bahasa Indonesia has managed to maintain its function as national identity and at the same time allowing and even encouraging the continued maintenance of other regional languages along side the national language, while promoting the nation wide usefulness and prestige of the latter. It is found that the use of Bahasa Indonesia has enabled the inhabitants to maintain the national identity and at the same time maintain their indigenous languages which are spread throughout the country. This condition emerges tolerance and understanding among the language users.
The increasing dominance of English has also brought implications in cultural identity transformation among its users. The habit of mixing English vocabulary in Indonesian by members of the elite group, from politicians to celebrities, is developed to “ foreground a modern identity” (Lowenberg, 1991, p.136) and this code-mixing habit is increasingly imitated by others (Renandya, 2000,p 116). Indonesia is facing the dilemma between maintaining its national language as well as its cultural Identity and taking part In international development. Issues related to the inevitable spread of English and its implication in the re-shaping of the cultural identity need to be addressed. L2 motivation is currently in the process of being radically reconceptualised and re-theorised in the context of contemporary notions of self and identity.
This study will use qualitative method, in which the data that is going to be collected and analyzed will be primarily from surveys, interviews and focus group discussion. The surveys will reveal the data on what cultural identity senior high school students have with Bahasa Indonesia, and with/without English at school, and with/without Regional Language at school. The interviews will be conducted to find out deep data in re-theorizing the notions of self and identity of senior high school students as Indonesian related to English implication. The forum group discussion will be used to find out ways on how to maintain the national identity and at the same time maintain their indigenous languages which are spread throughout the country through English as a medium.
Research Questions and Hypotheses:
The most important question in this research proposal is how senior high school students as Indonesian reconceptualize the cultural identity of related to English implication. It is important to identify how the senior high school students reconceptualize their identity as it becomes part of identity construction. As it is stated by Norton (2001), who argued that in many language classrooms, the targeted community may be, to some extent, a reconstruction of past communities and historically constituted relationships, but also a community of the imagination, a desired community that offers possibilities for an enhanced range of identity options in the future.
The researcher argues that students of senior high school in Indonesia are expected to maintain their identity as two-side of a coin. On one face, they need to maintain their national identity which is to master Bahasa Indonesia skills. On the other face, they need to pursue their English language skills as part of their desired community that offers possibilities to be part of global world and enhanced their global world identity. Significance This project is important since it provides the new concept of cultural identity related to English implication in Indonesia. As developing country, Indonesia needs to find out ways to maintain its national identity and at the same time be the part of global community. As Brown (2001) stated that we can can at least begin to guard against falling prey to the myth that native-speaker models are to be emulated at all costs.
In terms of degrees of acculturation, on the surface one could conclude that second language learning in a culture foreign to one’s own potentially involves the deepest form of culture acquisition. learners must survive in a strange culture as well as learn a language on which they are totally dependent for communication .On the other hand, one should not too quickly dismiss second language learning in the native culture (e.g., Nigerians learning English in Nigeria) from having a potential acculturation factor. In such contexts, the learner could experience consider¬able culture stress, depending upon the country, the cultural and socio political status of both the native and target language, the purposes for which one is learning the language (career, academic, social), and the intensity of the motivation of the learner. What is being termed as Linguistic Imperialism and Language Rights is one of the more controversial issues to rear its head in the global spread of English Language Learning. It is the extent to which the propagation of English as a medium of education, commerce, and government has impeded literacy in mother tongue languages, has thwarted social and economic progress for those who do not learn it, and has not generally been relevant to the need ordinary people in their day-to-day or future lives (Ricento, 1994, p. 422). Bahasa Indonesia, in this case, need to find out ways to complement its function as national identity and not to overlapped with English use.
Linguistic imperialism, or linguicism, as this issue has come to be named (Scollon, 2004; Canagarajah, 1999; Skutnabb-Kangas, & Phillipson, 1994; Phillipson, 1992; Skutnabb-Kangas & Cummins, 1988 in Brown,2001), calls attention to the potential consequences of English teaching worldwide when Eurocentric ideologies are embedded in instruction, having the effect of legitimizing colonial or establishment power and resources, and of reconstituting cultural inequalities between English and other languages. In this case, English has to be identified in the terms of new concept of Identity for Indonesia in the future, and its ways to seek the re-conceptualized dentity for its imagined communities in the future.
1. Scollon, 2004 Canagarajah, 1999 Skutnabb-Kangas, & Phillipson 1994 Phillipson, 1992 Skutnabb-Kangas & Cummins, 1988 Brown (2001)
2. Lie, A. (2017). English and Identity in Multicultural context: Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities. TEFLIN Journal, 28(1), 71.
3. Lowenberg, P. H. (1991). English as an additional language in Indonesia. World Englishes, 10(2), 127-138. Norton, B. (2001) Ricento( 1994)
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