When do Indonesians speak Indonesian? Some evidence from inter-ethnic and foreigner-Indonesian interactions and its pedagogic implications
It is now widely recognised that learning a language for everyday use needs to include the learning of socially appropriate uses of the language, but Indonesian programmes have been slow to take up this issue. Drawing on recent sociolinguistic research, this paper points out that some patterns of socially appropriate language use in Indonesia actually involve Indonesian only to the extent that those interacting wish to maintain social distance, while regional languages are used to promote closer social ties. Indonesian programmes thus require some rethinking in view of the complex multilingual nature of Indonesia. In particular, the inclusion of awareness-raising activities about the social significance of language choice in Indonesia coupled with training in ethnographic techniques is a possible way forward for such programmes.
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development