Globalization is the condition where the countries around the world have no border and the collaboration among countries has become something important and necessary. Globalization plays the important in a country development. Through the involvement in globalization, a country can develop its economy, education, culture, tourism, etc. that will bring many good effects for the country. However, thought the globalization has brought many goods for the countries involved, the country should also be prepared for the globalization itself, because globalization also brings many consequences and the country should be ready for it. This essay will talk about how the world has been developing since the globalization era and how language taught to prepare the skills for facing the globalization is important in this era.
The globalization has made the economy transaction among countries become borderless. Free trade happens everywhere, where each country opens its market for the global market. Indonesia as one of the countries involved in globalization also has opened its market since Indonesia joins in WTO. Indonesia is the member of WTO which joined WTO on the 1st January 1995 ( www.wto.org ). As the member of WTO Indonesia has actively involved in the world free trade. In the smaller scope, Indonesia is also the member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that also has opened border among its nations firstly in 1992. The literature strongly supports the argument that economic globalization has also influenced the education (Bartell, 2003).
Besides economy, globalization also has brought the development in technology. Nowadays, technology is something that is really important and has become the part of human’s life. All kind of technology has made human’s life easier, especially in communication. Since internet invented, people can easily share and access information from all over the world. Distance, cost, and time are no longer the boundaries for the communication since it is cheap and easy now to communicate with people from all over the world. Culture as the identity of the nation also has developed and changed since the globalization era. The culture exchange with other countries has made Indonesian culture developed also. Some people try to combine between Indonesian culture with more modern and other countries’ culture. People can easily access the culture from other countries and see how it is different with our culture.
Globalization has demanded a brave new world where the communication is borderless, the technology development develops rapidly and the culture exchange happens everywhere. However, this new brave world has demanded the country and the people involved in globalization to develop also. Those who cannot adapt and develop with the globalization as well, will be left behind and will not gain anything from the good of globalization. Indonesia better be ready for the globalization and its rapid development. Globalization also demands people to have the 21st century skills to be able to compete in globalization. In 21st century and this globalization era, people are demanded to be able to think critically and communicate effectively. Language mastery, especially English, is important because English is the global language that people used everywhere. To prepare the people for the 21st century, the best place to start is through education, where the outcome of the education gained by the students is not only knowledge, but also includes skills and the mastery to succeed in work life.
The gap between the world in the past and the world we are emerging right now has demanded the education to require new ways of thinking and learning (Gardner, 2008). Since all aspects in our life right now has developed, the educational system also demanded to change and develop and cannot remain the same. Language as one of the important aspects in globalization needs to be taught with the output that the students can use English well for communicative purpose. The method in teaching English also should be adapted with the world condition right now. Involving technology, using authentic materials, involving real life situation and emphasizing more in communicative skills are several things that need to be considered in the 21st century.
Previous research shows that specific technologies do not demand specific ways of teaching and structuring content (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). It refers to the way how students use the technology, such as using google or bing as the search engine. However, it is still important for the teacher to introduce it first, thus the students can use it wisely for the learning purpose. Google and bing are several websites that will help students a lot in learning English, but still the teacher needs to guide them how to utilize them maximally for the language learning purpose. Teaching using technology is not an easy matter though, because it is not only about putting the material into the digital form. It is not enough, and the teacher cannot stop there. The teacher needs to use the technology as a tool that will make students innovate new things, collaborate with others to learn, and have the global awareness. This is the challenge for teacher in Indonesia, because the usage of technology in Indonesia still only about changes the printed material into digital material. The teacher in Indonesia needs to utilize the technology deeper and more sophistically.
Authentic materials also part of the teaching that necessary in this 21st century. According to Nunan (1999), authentic material is spoken or written language that produced for the communicative purpose, not specifically designed for the teaching language purpose. Authentic materials will help students to know how actually the language used. Authentic material is also the part of real-life context teaching. Teaching real-life context can be started by introducing with how the language will be used in their future academic life, daily life or work life later. Through the combination of authentic material and real-life context activity, the students will be aware on how the language they learn will be used for their life. It will also motivate students, because they know what they learn will not be vain and will be useful for the future life.
Communicative skills give the students more chance to the students to convey their idea and thought in more communicative ways. Communicative is not merely about speaking, but it also involves writing where students communicate using their writing. Researchers agree that the only solution to develop communicative skills of the students is by changing the way English is taught (Elli, 2002). The changing followed by the implementation of communicative approach principles.
Creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; and communication effectively; are some of the 21st century skills that can be gained by implementing technology involvement, using authentic materials, involving real life situation and emphasizing more in communicative skills. Teachers in Indonesia need to implement this, because the students can develop their skills to be able to compete in globalization of 21st century. Education as the long-term investment can bring Indonesia to be more independent and better country when the education system and the teacher quality in Indonesia also develop to be better. English as one of the skills needed in the 21st century also needs more attention on the way how it is taught and the way students learn.
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