Language Preservation Through Curricular Activities: A Case Study of Javanese Language in Indonesia
One of the most powerful ways to preserve an indigenous language is through formal education. The Indonesian government has mandated inclusion of local content in school curricula, and many schools use it to help preserve the most dominant indigenous languages in the area. In the case of Javanese language, the complexity of the language has become one of the major reasons for the decreasing number of users.
The objectives of this chapter are to investigate how the Javanese language is taught in school and what challenges Javanese language teachers encounter. We observed (twice) a Javanese Language and Culture class in a private high school located in Yogyakarta – one of two main sources of the Javanese language. An in-depth interview was also carried out with the teacher of the subject.
Our study revealed that the school had a unique way of designing the local content subject. While many other schools only teach the Javanese language in their curriculum, this school included cultural activities as well. Also, the school offered different themes each semester for its students to provide students with hands-on experiences in relation to Javanese language and culture. The cultural activities included performing Javanese dance and playing Javanese musical instruments.
KeywordsJavanese language Indonesia Cultural activities Curricular activities
- Abari, A. O., Oyetola, I. O., & Okunaga, A. A. (2013). Preserving African languages and territorial integrity in the face of education and globalization. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 57, 8–15.Google Scholar
- Crystal, D. (2000). Emerging Englishes. English Teaching Professional, 14, 3–6.Google Scholar
- Ethnologue. (2000). Available at https://www.ethnologue.com/language/jav/17. Accessed 12 Sept 2016.
- Ethnologue. (2016). Available at https://www.ethnologue.com/country/ID. Accessed 9 Nov 2016.
- Poedjosoedarmo, G. (2006). The effect of Bahasa Indonesia as a lingua franca on the Javanese system of speech levels and their functions. International Journal of Sociology of Language, 177, 111–121.Google Scholar
- Skutnabb-Kangas, T., & Phillipson, R. (2013). Global politics and language: Markets, maintenance, marginalization or murder? In N. Coupland (Ed.), The handbook of language and globalization (pp. 77–100). Chichester: Willey-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- UNESCO. (2007). Advocacy kit for promoting multilingual education: Including the excluding. Bangkok: UNESCO.Google Scholar
- Widodo, H. P., & Fardhani, E. A. (2011). The language rights of indigenous languages: An approach to maintaining Indonesia’s linguistic and cultural diversity. In Q. Lê & T. Lê (Eds.), Linguistic diversity and cultural identity (pp. 129–140). New York: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar