Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Sociolinguistics Study on the Use of the Javanese Language in the Learning Process in Primary Schools in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia

Academic journal article International Education Studies

A Sociolinguistics Study on the Use of the Javanese Language in the Learning Process in Primary Schools in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia

Article excerpt


This study aims at describing the use of language at primary schools grade 1, 2, and 3 in Surakarta. The study belongs to descriptive qualitative research. It emphasizes in a note which depict real situation to support data presentation. Content analysis is used as research methodology. It analyzes the research result of the observed speech event. The data are collected from three sources: informant, events, and documents. Results of the study demonstrate that the use of Javanese language is still dominant in the learning process at primary schools in Surakarta. Many factors affect the use of Javanese language as mother tongue in classroom teaching-learning process. They are (1) balancing the learning process, so that learners are able to better understand the material presented by the teacher (2) teacher's habit to speak Javanese language, and (3) drawing student's attention. The factors underlying this phenomenon are explained by teacher and student's lack of Indonesian language vocabulary. In addition, there is an element unnoticed by teachers.

Keywords: mother tongue, Javanese language, language use, primary school

1. Introduction

Language has become entrenched in human life particularly for its dominant function in communication. The use of language can be in the form of communication during teaching-learning process in classroom. Basically, learning language helps students to develop their self-awareness and cultures. Furthermore, language encourages students to express their opinions and feeling, to participate in social interaction, and to use their analytic and imaginative ability. Ohoiwutun (2002, p. 126) states that learning process in classroom shows a pattern of communication in multilingual society if we consider each variety representing one language. The main function of language in learning process is shown in 2013 curriculum, which put Indonesian language as the bridge between subjects.

Much research has been done on the use of language in primary schools such as in Brunei Darusallam by Martin (1996), in Papua New Guinea by Malone (2011), in Malaysia by Ariffin (2011), in Korea by Chung (2006), and in Africa by Ayeomoni (2006) and Jegede (2012). The research results generally show that mother tongue strongly influence student's utterance at school. It deals with children's limited language skill especially those in primary school. However, some factors influence the phenomenon of student's language in the learning process. Those factors can be internal, from the student, and external, from teacher and environment.

As the center of Javanese culture, Surakarta is dominated by Javanese language. It does happen at primary school grade 1, 2, and 3 in which Javanese language often spoken during the learning process. According to Saddhono (2013), primary Schools in Surakarta regularly use both Javanese and Indonesian language. This happens, as Javanese language is the daily language of Javanese society, and in this case is teachers and students. Those two languages used interchangeably is in a language contact situation. This phenomenon is explained by Hamdani (2012) in a research on the use of Sundanese and Indonesian language, and in Muharam's (2012) research on Indonesian and Ternate Malay language.

The phenomenon shows that mother tongue's influence is dominant for students at primary school. This statement is proven by Pagett's (2006) research on the influence of mother tongue at school, and Malone's (2011) research. This speech event is recognized by the contact between mother tongue and language spoken at school.

According to Weinreich in Suwito (1985, p. 39), language contact occurs in an individual speaker. Individuals in language contacts is called bilingual, and the use of two languages interchangeably by a speaker is called bilingualism. Bilingualism is important in the teaching-learning process to achieve effective and efficient result. The interaction between teacher and student in teaching-learning process usually use spoken language. …

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