Indonesian English-medium Instruction: Policy, Controversy, and Practicalities (Abstract and summary submitted for 2014 IATEFL)

Dear All,

Please kindly find below the abstract and summary I submitted for 2014 IATEFL Conference, a conference I have always wanted to attend (as a presenter) since 2009, the first time my friend, Diana, and I attended this event. (Diana also submitted hers yesterday).  I do hope to share you good news in November 🙂

This is the freshly minted version which has evolved a lot from my original one. Thanks to Richard for his very helpful and brilliant suggestions and for reminding me of the important bits that I have forgotten 😀 Many thanks also to Mariam Attia for her great suggestions on my previous version 🙂

Any comments or suggestions for this version please?

Many many thanks 🙂

Abstract: 50-60 words

Against the backdrop of local linguistics complexity, in 2006, Indonesia introduced English-medium Instruction (EMI) in public schools. This policy shift attracted considerable controversy which led to EMI being discontinued in 2013. In this talk, based on my professional reflections and ongoing doctoral research, I will outline the process of English Language Policy Reform and its practical implications for Indonesian ELT. (60)

 Summary: 200-250 words

Indonesia is a country characterised by language diversity and complexity. Most Indonesians are bilingual, and many are multilingual. With Bahasa Indonesia as the national and official language and 746 local languages, language policy and planning has never been a simple matter. Many schools in rural areas still struggle to introduce Bahasa Indonesia to the students. Meanwhile, many urban areas have issues with the significantly diminishing number of local language speakers. Amidst all those complexity, from 2006, English was introduced as the medium of instruction in the new International Standard Schools (ISS), a move prompted by the government long-term development strategy for Indonesia. This innovation attracted criticism for the inequities it generated as well as the worries that the extensive use of English in the schools would diminish students’ sense of nationalism and endanger students’ identity as an Indonesian. For this reason, English-medium Instruction (EMI) was terminated in 2013.

This talk is based on my professional reflections as an English language teacher and EMI teacher trainer as well as based on my preliminary research for my doctoral studies. The presentation will take up to 15 minutes in which I will talk about the brief history of Indonesian EMI, the main policies, the controversies, and its practicalities concerning ELT, and then it will be followed by a 15 minute question and answer session. The lessons learnt from Indonesian case may hopefully be a useful input for the applications of EMI in other countries.  (241)