The problematic implementation of javanese language local content: A case study of language policy in serang municipality

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Abstract

Situated in the west of Java island, Serang was a district and a part of West Java province, where Sundanese is the dominant language. In 2007, however, Serang'sstatus changed into a city and a part of the then newly-formed Banten Province. This has had an impact on the implementation in education, particularly in teaching local languages. Historically, Javanese has been the main language used in the city of Serang. The purpose of this study is to examine what kind of impact the implementation of the Local Content policy has had on language preservation in the city of Serang. In particular, this study examines public views onthe implementation of the local content policy with regard to the variety of Javanese used in Serang city as part of the regional policy and planning. The research uses a sociolinguistic approach. The data for this research was obtained through a combination of information or library search, direct interviews, and field observation. Direct interviews were particularly conducted with officials working at the local Serang government, staff members in the Banten office for the National Language Agency, and with school headmasters, who have to implement the policy. The language of instruction in schools throughout Indonesia is Indonesian. However, local language and cultural content is included in the curriculum, with the choice of language depending on the local situation. Since the change to its status and its detachment from West Java province, the local government of Serang has decided that Javanese would be the only local language taught under the local content policy. A 180 degree turn from the policy prior to the administrative status change, this policy meant that Sundanese would no longer receive any support. The research identified two Sundanese-speaking villages, Tinggar and Nyapah Villages in Serang. In both villages, the authorities forced the teaching of Javanese. This state of affairs is problematical and can only lead to discontent. This research has demonstrated that dialectology research can provide empirical evidence of the boundaries of language areas. Nonetheless, the local Serang government failed to distinguish between administrative and language boundaries. In general, Indonesia is a highly multilingual country with great variation of speaker populations, making it difficult to provide educational support for all languages. It is expected that the results of this research can help local government officials to implement policies that not only provide good education, but also help language maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociolinguistics and Dialectological Studies in Indonesia
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages189-210
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781536197365
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Language maintenance
  • Language policy
  • Local content
  • Serang Javanese
  • Sundanese

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