Children's language in a bilingual community in East Java

Slamet Setiawan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] The Indonesian language has gradually penetrated communities which predominantly speak ethnic languages since its adoption to be the only official national language. This situation results in language contact, and thus bilingual communities emerge. Due to unbalanced institutional supports through language policy, the declining use of local languages has been underway across the nation. This study focuses on children's language in a bilingual community in East Java, Indonesia. The children have been chosen as they are potential agents to determine the future of Javanese. The study has three goals: to determine Javanese children's language proficiency; to relate the children's social networks with language use; and to reveal the children's attitudes towards Javanese. Moreover, these three aspects have been investigated in three different locations: a big city, a small town and a village. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches have been employed. The instruments used were tests, questionnaires, observation and interviews. Methods to elicit data from the sample group, (70 Javanese children aged between 9 – 11), were carefully designed with the children’s interest in mind. Some of the instruments were produced using colourful comic-strip pictures to increase their appeal. Questionnaires in Javanese and Indonesian were provided as for attitude measurement. Questionnaires were also given to their parents to understand the linguistic situation across generations. The findings of the study show that the children's reported overall proficiency in Indonesian is very high (3.9 from four-level scales), whereas their Javanese proficiency was at 3.1 which are consistent with the result of the test.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013


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