Language planning is an intended effort to influence the function and structure or even the acquisitions of languages or a variety in a speech community. It is different field as compared to natural language processing and the computational languages. Language policy involves the rules and regulations on the status and use of languages, including the domains and territories and also the rights the speaker has in the subject language. The decisions surround language planning, and policy is met every day globally with formal and informal contexts from both scholars and the government and also the leaders of a community (Saltford, 2000). The decisions are known to have impacts on the rights to use and maintain the language, affect the status of the language and determine what languages are natured. Language planning and policy is important as it is useful in reversing the shift in language. Also, it is useful as it influences the reforms and revitalizes of language to a modern and standard language; also, it strengthens and spreads the communication of language aside from aiding in achieving a national unity and harmony. The decisions reached by language planning and policy have a primary impact on the vitality of thee language as well as the rights enjoyed by the individual (Spolsky and Shohamy, 2000).
History and Status of English Language in Indonesia
It is recognized that English is an important language in Indonesia and this is because of the fact that it is an international language and also a language that is used globally. Its global status is because of the population of the people using English orally. In Indonesia, English as a language is not being used widely in the society and is not also used as a communication medium in most institutions (Suleiman, 2006). It has also not been accorded any special status in the language legislation of the country, but it is still seen as a priority as it is the most important of the foreign languages that are to be taught. In a country like Indonesia, making certain general aspects of the English language where it is not the first language. In the inner circle's countries, English is being used for all communicative situations but, in Indonesia, the role of English is defined mainly using a process that of language planning and not by the evolution of linguistic. The status of English as a medium of communication in the international and global arena is underpinned by the use in the wide fields (Antara, 2002).
English stands to be an important language considering it is playing some certain roles in many areas. In the field of economic and business, the United States exerts a pull on the global business considering it is the world’s largest economy. The organization that longs to do any business in the global market will not be able to do so without using English. The tourist industry is also so much dependent on English that requires that the multinational business and the international offices have staff personnel who can be able to communicate in English. International relations are another sector in Indonesia that needs the use of English. As one of the official languages used by the United Nations and other international bodies, English is highly necessary for the international relations sector. Diplomats are supposed to learn a lot of languages in their careers but, whenever it is proven impossible to learn the foreign language, English may be applicable and used as a lingua franca (Morgan and Ramanathan, 2005).
In the sector of education, most of the scientific papers have been written and published in English in all the subjects. As a language, English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in the schools and universities. English is also used in the fields of management, information technology, and humanities that are prone to using English for the students who desire to go for further studies in the countries that are using English. Indonesia also values English in the field of communication as most of the world’s communication is using English. Information stored across the world is 80% using English. Even though the internet can be able to handle many languages, it is still a challenge to envisage being able to use maximum resources online without having to use English (Spolsky and Shohamy, 2000).
Haugen's Framework of the 4 Phases of Language Planning In Indonesia
Haugen is the first person who started to set the models used for describing the activities that are involved in language planning. He treats these stages as the four aspects of language development as important features in the taking step from dialect to language and from the vice versa to standard. The first stage she developed was the selection stage that is known to involve choosing a language for a certain reason that is usually associated with the official status or norm roles (Tollefson, 2002). In other words, she tried to mean that norm selection is the act of making the official policy for the language. The second stage is codification which is related to the stabilization of the selected norm. It is a stage that presupposes norm and is related to the process of standardization. Standardization involves a minimal of two distinct language techniques. Standardization involves production of dictionaries, grammars, styles manuals and punctuations among others and it is as well carried out by the language academies and the persons working for the academies (Ager, 2001).
Implementation is the third stage that involves the processes of the government institutions, private institutions and writers while they adopt the selected and codified norms. Such activities may involve the production of books and newspapers and also the usage of language for mass media that Haugen often called acceptance. Forth stage is the elaboration concerning the expansion of the functions of language and the assignment of the new codes, for example, the scientific and technological. Modernization of language appears to be one of the common activities that need to be elaborated. Haugen in his work displays a revised model of his work where he tries to include some of the valuable insights of his colleagues and not alter any outline of the original plan (Suleiman, 2006).
Current Language Policy & Planning Issues in Indonesia
In Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia is being taught as a compulsory subject in all the levels of education, and as a result, the regional languages can or cannot be taught, and the facts depend on the schemes of the provincial governments (Antara, 2002). The provinces could not apply different policies in which the regional linguistics are taught or not in schools. With this in the system, the cultivating of the mother tongue language would not be effective in the school curriculum considering that there are 10 out of 27 provinces where the regional languages are being taught. According to literature, the performances in education in Indonesia create all the issues of language and equality of opportunity (Ager, 2001).
There has been evidence proving the fact that there is a conflict between the national need for common language and the fact that there have to be chance to demonstrate the abilities of a student in having proficiency in the local language and as such, it is an obstacle in the process. There has also been a noticeable dropout rate that is caused by the familiar tongue. In Indonesia, the language that is expected to be the one to give access to broader opportunities of gaining knowledge has been an obstructing figure in obtaining one. Another issue that has been persistent in Indonesia language planning and policy is that there has been a challenge in setting neutral grounds for Bahasa Indonesia in partnership with the native languages in the country (Menard-Warwick, 2007).
Possible Solution for Policy & Planning Issues in Indonesia
- Indonesia should be able to learn from other countries where the language policies and planning have acted importantly in helping the activities in these states. One example of a country that could be admired is Australia, the first Anglophone country that has explicit language policy.
- Another solution is that the country should focus on promoting the new agency by the government, the Antara that believes that the Bahasa Indonesia should be treated as a second language in the country. The assumption has been regarded as an over expectation because the reality seems to speak a different language (Antara, 2002).
The decisions surround language planning, and policy is met every day globally with formal and informal contexts from both scholars and the government and also the leaders of a community. The decisions reached by language planning and policy have a primary impact on the vitality of the language as well as the rights enjoyed by the individual. In Indonesia, English as a language is not being used widely in the society and is not also used as a communication medium in most institutions. English stands to be an important word considering it is playing some individual roles in many areas. As a language, English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in the schools and universities. There has been evidence proving the fact that there is a conflict between the national need for common language and the fact that there have to be changed to demonstrate the abilities of a student in having proficiency in the local language and as such, it is an obstacle in the process.
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