Indonesia has a fantastic demography bonus. According to BPS, from 202I0 till 2035, it is estimated that Indonesia will have a bonus of demography caused by the number of productive ages reaching as high as 70 percent of the total of Indonesian population.And the peak of workforce is said to happen at this time or period. This issue is, ofcourse, very challenging for us, and that it seems to be a trigger to speed up our country advancement as expected in the year 2045.

            Vocational schools or SMK are the formal educational institutions which are set up to prepare young job seekers ready for the jobs as soon as they complete their study from their schools with the related skills they have chosen.In reality, however, many Indonesian workforces fail to occupy the jobs that they wish in the world markets. It happens because their English level is still poor. This is inline with the global research of EF EPI (English Prificiency Index) 2018 stating that Indonesia is a country with a quite low mastery of English. Meanwhile, AssociateDirector Michael Page Indonesia, Amelia Lestari says that many Indonesian work forces are good, but they are still at low level of English proficiency.

            Sooner or later, we should solve this problematic situation which is being faced by our young workforce now and in the future, since there are several significant advantages that we will have from being able to master English for communication in their work environment or their social life in general.

            The urgency of being able to communicate proficiently in English are derrived from both national and international interest. They can be described as the following:

Firstly, for our national interest. We can refer to one of the 5 expectations of our government led by our President, Joko Widodo, namely undertaking the potency of tourism at all parts of the country. Say forexample: we have a tourist object – the so called “Bunut Bolong” which is located in Pekutatan district, Jembrana regency. To undertake tourist potentials, at least the local people from Pekutatan or Jembrana, shoudbe able to make the tourists get to know what Bunut Bolong is, where it is located, and what they can enjoy there, and so forth. In other words, they shoud be able to promote their tourist objects. So should the other local people do to their tourist destinations in every parts of the country throughout Indonesia. It is not that simple matter. But as good students, you should endeavour to help the government realize their development programme by studying hard to learn English so that you can improve your English gradually.

In addition to the government’s expectations, we can also refer to the 4 scenarios or schemes of the government facing the year 2045, in which it is suggested that scientists and journalists synergize and co-interact in the future. Highly scientific language ( in this case usually English) is worth encouraging to become “ilmiah populer” to the people of Indonesia. Thus, it may mean that English can become one of thesolutionwhich brings great impact in “Abad Kemerdekaan” in the future.

Secondly, for the international interest.It is obvious that in this modern era, we are always faced with the fact that we have to interact or communicate with other nations or countries to fulfill our national interests.  For this matter, English proficiency is unaviodable for us.

Inline with the topic above, the government through the Ministry of Education and Culture has launched the programme – the so called SMK English Challenge 2020. It is intended to facilitate the students with excellent English qualification to assess as well as certifytheir English proficiency.Through the Ministry of Education and Culture, in the year 2020, the government has provided a truly fantastic quota of TOEIC certification. There are as many as 75,000 TOEIC certification that will be addressed to the students with excellent English qualification across Indonesia. Indeed, it is a very brilliant as well as prospective idea to put forward the young Indonesian workforce for their bright future. So, don’t miss this golden chance!

 Now, it is your turn to study English effectively. Get as many as English words or phrases, or grammar, then try to understand and make use of them in a simple sentence or even a longer one. Always try to manipulate all the vocabulary or grammar that you have in mind in a reallife communication. Such activities as : greeting someone or welcoming guest, introducing yourself to the other or introducing other people, asking or giving information and many other activities are good ways of practicing your English vocabulary or grammar.Those are, perhaps, some ways to develop speaking skill. Whilst conversing, try to listen to the others. Get the ideas or meanings of what someone says. By that way, you will understand about what someone wants, so you can give him or her the intended response. That is a simple illustration of how to develop your listening skill. If you are given a piece of English text, for instance: an announcement, or perhaps a memo, try to read thoroughly to get what is all about. If you find a new word which you do not understand its meaning, then you can read between the lines of the text or paragraph, so you can find its meaning from the context. You can scan (a quick reading) to answer such questions as: what, who, when, where, why. The so – called “WH questions”. You can gist the text to get the main idea or topic of the text. All those are ways or techniques of how to develop reading skill.  The last skill of English is writing. Like speaking, writing also constitutes productive skill meaning that students are required to be able to produce the language. It is unlike listening and reading skill. They are called receptive skills, because students are mostly required to understand thelanguage/texts  – not to produce the language/texts. Try to put some words or phrases into a meaningful sentence. That is, perhaps a good start for the beginner. If you are assigned to write a good paragraph, please get the topic with you. Then brainstorm the idea to put down into sentences. Write a sentence from each ideas that you have . Start your text with a topic sentence. And then  give examples or some supporting sentences. Start your sentence with capital letter, and end it with full stop. Mind the word order or grammar, and at last, the spelling of the words.. Those all are, perhaps, some tips of writing text of English. Ofcourse, there are many other ways or techniques to develop writing skill that suit to your need or purpose of writing. Any way, regardless of those illustrations, you must practice your English, either in spoken or written form. Practice make a habit!. Practice make perfect!. That is all about or the tips on how you may learn to master English. After all, and the most important of all is always motivated to assess yourselveswith English proficiency test to make sure that you have a good command of English. Hence, I suggest that you join the TOEIC .

What and Why the TOEIC?

TOEIC stands for Test of English for International Communication. The TOEIC has some programmes. The first is listening and reading tests. It assesses the English language – listening and reading skills needed in the workplace and everyday life.The second is speaking and writing tests.  It assesses the participants’ English proficiency in speaking and writing..Today, the TOEIC tests are trusted by over 14,000 organizations in more than 160 countries and are widely recognized as the gold standard in English language assessment.Organizations and job-seekers around the world rely on TOEIC tests’score to help them get a head of the competition. In an increasingly globalized world, having proven English language skills presents a significant advantage to anyone with international career aspirations. Individuals who can demonstrate their ability to communicate in English will descover employment opportunities that may, otherwise, have not been available, while organizations with an English –language proficient workforce can gain access to a new world of bussiness possibilities and international collaborations(www.toeic.global.com).           

            Furthermore, it is cited that TOEIC is a good solution to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessment, research and related services, and that the products and services measure knowledge and skills (hence: listening, speaking, reading and writing), promote learning and performance, and support education and professional development for all people worldwide.

So, from now on be confident! Make up your mind toimprove your English!Get TOEIC certificates  to declare how good your English works with you. And the bright future is there awaiting you.

written by:   

I Gst. Ngurah Sudama, S.Pd,M.Pd                                                                        

English teacher at SMK Negeri 5 Negara

 #SMKEnglishChallenge2020 #IAMCONFIDENTwithTOEIC #SMKBISAHEBAT #TOEICIndonesia #TOEICOfficial                                                              

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