Author: Auryn Putri
Language is a means of communication between individuals with one another. Language comes from sound produced by human speech as a form of expressing what they think and feel.
Along with the development of the times and increasingly advanced technology, language also continues to develop. One of the languages that exist today is English. English is a language that has been known as an universal language used in countries around the world, including Indonesia.
Data on the Number of English Users in the World
According to “Language services in the US” statistics, by 2021, approximately 1.35 billion people worldwide speak English, either as a mother tongue or as a second language.
The Use of English in Indonesia
In Indonesia itself, English is a foreign language that is used as a second language and has been taught to students in schools, some even teach English to their children from early ages. As the young generation who will be successors of the Indonesian nation, we must quickly adapt to the changing times and globalization that have entered our country. One of them is English which has become an international language and is widely used by almost all countries in the world.
Nowadays, young people prefer to mix English with Indonesian. According to a linguistic expert from the University of Indonesia, Bernadette Kushartanti, this cannot be avoided because there are interactions between each language. Examples in this case are English, slang, and Indonesian. However, on the other hand, this is something to worry about, because it can interfere with the use of good and correct Indonesian and English.
The use of one or more languages for the consistent transfer of linguistic units from one language to another developing new limited or less restricted codes of linguistic interactions is called code mixing. The use of code mixing is bad because users use Indonesian vocabulary with English vocabulary by default without looking at the context of the use of the vocabulary in sentences. Indeed, this is considered a habit based on mere jokes. However, actions like this will certainly have a further effect and become an obstacle to one’s language skills, especially children and adolescents who are practicing to use English or Indonesian properly and correctly.
Benefits of Learning English
In fact, our role and purpose in learning English is more important than just making ourselves look more slang. The younger generation must utilize the use of English properly and correctly, because it will provide great benefits in the future
By being able to speak English well, our future job prospects are also wide open. The more fluent a person’s ability or quality of speaking English is, the greater the chance that we will be accepted in national, even international companies. Therefore, to enter a business or activities in the economic sector, we will be highly required to master English, especially for businesses that have activities related to foreign companies from other countries.
The benefits of learning English do not stop at the job sector. Another benefit is that it expands our connections. By being able to speak English, we can get along with people from abroad. Many things we can learn in the international arena through English. We can get to know and learn things from other countries, such as their traditions and culture. Furthermore, we can introduce the culture and other diversity in Indonesia to them. That way, there will be a mutually beneficial reciprocity from Indonesia and other countries.
Then, for a broader context, mastery of English as the language of global communication is also important for us as the younger generation of Indonesia to face the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) because English has been agreed as the lingua franca in the ASEAN region.
English Proficiency in Indonesia
However, based on data from the Education First (EF) version of the English Proficiency Index in 2020, Indonesia is still relatively low. Indonesia was only able to collect an English Proficiency index of 453 points and was ranked fifth in Southeast Asia or 74th in the world. Meanwhile, in 2019, we are still ranked 61st in the world. From this, we can see that Indonesia’s position has fallen significantly and is being overtaken by other countries. Of course, this is something that must be considered seriously.
Proficiency in English is not only a challenge and competition for every country in the world, but a necessity so that we are able to move our country’s economy in the eyes of the world, one of which is in the ASEAN economic community. We also have to prove that Indonesia is able to apply English, as the global language of instruction, well and fluently.
Activities to Improve English Language Skills
While learning to speak English, we can take part in various competitions, participate in various organizations and extracurricular activities; for example, by participating in English extracurricular activities at school and participating in the English Olympiad. We can also take part in various English competitions such as debates, speeches, writing essays, writing articles, and many other competitions we can do to practice our ability to speak English, expand vocabulary, and most importantly we can obtain many achievements, experiences, and even meet new people.
Using Technology to Learn English
In this modern era, the development of technology is increasing rapidly. As the younger generation, it would be better if we use these technologies to learn and practice our English language skills. For example, by broadening our vocabulary by using an online English dictionary application or watching English learning videos.
Maybe for some people it will be difficult to do these things. However, as a creative young generation of Indonesia, we must not lose to boredom and despair. We still have thousands of ways to learn English. The key is “learn your own version of English”. This means that you can learn and practice your English language skills by doing hobbies or things that are interesting and fun for you to do. Indirectly, you do not need to constantly open an online English dictionary, read long English texts, or study late at night in order to learn English. Of course, we will feel bored and stressed quickly if we only do those things.
If you prefer watching movies, listening to music, listening to podcasts, and playing games, you can learn English through these ways; therefore, learning English feels much more fun. Moreover, you can also create video vlogs, blogs, and podcasts in English. By improving your ability to speak English, you can also improve your skills in public speaking. Your ability in speaking will also improve your ability in writing, which is also crucial for academic and working demands.
In addition, for those of you who have a hobby in the Information technology (IT) field, you can create online-based applications to learn English. The application must be presented in an attractive and practical way, in order to make it easier for users to access and use the application.
In conclusion, there are a lot of ways we can do to improve our English language ability as English is the key to success in our future. With English, we can achieve benefits, both for ourselves and for the progress of our beloved nation and country, Indonesia.
Writer: Auryn Putri
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition
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