Transcending Modern-Day Imperialism: Investment in the Acquisition of English from an Indonesian Perspective
English as a world language is a significant, growing and dynamic presence in the postcolonial communities. The English language acquisition specifically takes place in a much more problematic fashion. Research on English as world language is instrumental in highlighting how ideologies are transmitted through language, which constitutes modern-day imperialism (Phillipson 1992), and in indicating how the individual interpretation of identity through the acquired language is in constant reexamination (Kim 2003). Both theoretical perspectives shed a light in the overarching spectrum of foreign language acquisition. This study examines how acquisition of English is manifested mainly on economic investment as reflected by 10 adult Indonesians who participated in the research. The research also finds that there is an intricate interplay of sociocultural values and sense of individual empowerment that coexists under continuous reconstruction with such investment. To what degree does this consciousness affect the rest of the nation who are by their race, ethnicity, gender, class and linguistic groupings conditioned by the forces of global structures? How do they author self in the presence of linguistic and multicultural boundaries? How does English infiltrate in the language policy and influence the existing national language and ethnic languages? English is therefore acquired within a spectrum that determines the individual’s consciousness and her investment. This level of consciousness toward globalized economic interdependence encompasses the individual’s linguistic rights and her lived experience.
Sari Faizah (United States)
Dept. of English Applied Linguistics Program
University of Alabama
Person as Subject
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)