Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Importance of Learning English Language - kepentingan belajar bahasa inggris

Why Learn English?
English was originally the language of England, but through the historical efforts of the British Empire it has become the primary or secondary language of many former British colonies such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and India. Currently, English is the primary language of not only countries actively touched by British imperialism, but also many business and cultural spheres dominated by those countries. It is the language of Hollywood and the language of international banking and business. As such, it is a useful and even necessary language to know.
Meanwhile, English has also played role as a global language. Some theorists mention some characteristics of English as global language i.e. the use of English has spread across the world and it has become the most preferable foreign language teaching. English has also been used widely in economic, politic, and scientific fields as well as the main tool of communication in media such as radio, television, newspaper, and even internet. (Lynch, 2000,  Crystal, 1997,  Fishman, 1998).
In today’s global world, the importance of English can not be denied and ignored since English is the most common language spoken everwhere. With the help of developing technology, English has been playing a major role in many sectors including medicine, engineering, and education, which, in my opinion, is the most important arena where English is needed. Particularly, as a developing country, Indonesia needs to make use of this world-wide spoken language in order to prove its international power.


English is the International Common Tongue
There are several factors that make the English language essential to communication in our current time. First of all, it is the most common foreign language. This means that two people who come from different countries (for example, a Mexican and a Sweden) usually use English as a common language to communicate. That’s why everyone needs to learn the language in order to get in touch on an international level. Speaking it will help you communicate with people from countries all over the world, not just English-speaking ones.
Education
English is also essential to the field of education. In many countries, children are taught and encouraged to learn English as a second language. Even in countries where it is not an official language, such as the Netherlands or Sweden, we will find many syllabi in science and engineering are written in English. Because it is the dominant language in the sciences, most of the research and studies you find in any given scientific field will be written in it as well. At the university level, students in many countries study almost all their subjects in English in order to make the material more accessible to international students.
The Internet and Press
On the Internet, the majority of websites are written and created in English. Even sites in other languages often give you the option to translate the site. It's the primary language of the press: more newspapers and books are written in English than in any other language, and


no matter where in the world you are, you will find some of these books and newspapers available. In fact, because it is so dominant in international communication, you will find more information regarding nearly every subject if you can speak this language.
Travel and Business
With good understanding and communication in English, you can travel around the globe. Because it is the international language for foreigners, it's easy to get assistance and help in every part of world. You can test it by online travel. Any travel booking site you can find will have English as a booking option.
English skills will also help you in any business venture you choose to follow. If you visit some offices, companies, governmental organizations, or even math or engineering companies, you will see the importance of English. Any big company will hire their professional staff after getting to know whether the people they are hiring are good at English or not. Companies who want to function at an international level only consider their staff well educated if they are good English speakers, writers, and readers.
Knowing English opens job and employment opportunities in many countries and markets. Multilateral institutions and agencies in the four United Nation cities of New York, Vienna, The Hague and Geneva recruit professionals with multilingual skills but also expect the candidates to have good English-speaking skills. The Commonwealth of Nations, made up of 50-plus countries that were former British colonies or dependencies, also offers numerous employment opportunities to those who understand and communicate in English.


Resources Make Learning English Easy
Although many people think that it is very difficult and confusing, English is actually the easiest language of the world to learn because there are so many resources available. As soon as you decide you want to learn, there are thousands of resources on the Internet and in bookstores. I'm not just talking about lessons and grammar books. You can supplement traditional learning materials with children's TV shows and books. I suggest watching as much TV as you can, in English with English subtitles, and you will pick up conversational English in no time.
The Nature of English Teaching in Indonesia
Although English has been globally spread, in Indonesia, English is considered a foreign language where it is commonly taught in schools similar to other subjects such as mathematics, Biology, and Physics. It is not used as language instruction both in education and other activities such as business and governance (Philipson, 1992). So,  English teachers in Indonesia should work hard to provide students with various language exposures in the classroom. The students can not get inputs of English use in daily communication. They find less exposure to the English through advertisements or American movies they watch but these exposures are not enough to make them proficient in using English. English teaching in the classroom is the key factor to the success of students in learning English.
The teaching of English in Indonesia is associated with the influence of English to our culture. As Mondiano (2001) points out, the teaching of a foreign language may affect the structure of values of students. Their first language also can be mixed up by the presence of a new language they learnt. More over, the spread of English is believed to be the agent of

Americanism.  It means, when  students are learning English, they will also learn about the culture comes along with English, in this case American culture. This statement is without intention to ignore the cultural influence of other English speaking countries like Australia and British.
English teaching and learning also contribute a slang language to Bahasa Indonesia and it is accelerated by global communication where teenagers can watch a bunch of entertainments from other countries on TV. “MTV generation”, we often call the group of young people in Indonesia which use a slang language. The new language used by this group is a combination of English and Bahasa Indonesia (Heaney, 2005). For example, some phrases such as so what gitu lho…….or please deh……that are now commonly used in their community, are derived from mixture of English and Indonesian language.
Both English and its culture are a unity which means the learning of English may influence the culture of its learner. There is pride among young people to use English in their casual communication, although its use is in the form of a slang language. The way they speak will influence the way they behave which for some level it will affect their culture. Their hairstyles are like American young men with blond color and the way they are dressing is western oriented fashion. Although there is confusion whether it is the phenomenon of globalization or the impact of English, obviously both of them may have the same result on degrading our culture.


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