By Nayla Adriani Aurelia ( XI MIPA 8 )
Literacy is a person’s ability to process and understand information while doing the reading and writing process. Indonesia ranks 62 out of 70 countries related to literacy levels, or is in the bottom 10 countries with low literacy levels. This proves that the reading interest of Indonesian students is still very low. Literacy mastery is an important indicator to improve the achievements of the younger generation in achieving success. Instilling literacy as early as possible must be realized because it is the main capital in realizing an intelligent and cultured nation.
Various efforts have been made to increase literacy interest, one of which is through the internet. There are still many of us who do not realize the benefits of using the internet to increase interest in reading. This causes us to prefer to use the internet only to surfs social media and play games rather than increase interest in reading. This may be fun, but it will be bad. Several schools have now implemented digital literacy to increase the literacy interest of Indonesian students in this sophisticated era. Digital literacy is a person’s ability and insight in the aspect of utilizing digital technology, communication tools, creating and evaluating information in a healthy and careful manner and obeying the law in life. It is hoped that with digital capabilities, people can use technology to the fullest but take full responsibility for what they do. In Indonesia, digital literacy is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Republic of Indonesia. Indonesia with a large population is faced with the challenge of mastering digital skills as a requirement for 21st century life skills through integrated education directed by the community.
Although some studies say that internet technology has a bad influence, but let’s look at the positive side. Currently, there are many internet media that can increase students’ interest in reading. These media are already available on our smartphones such as e-books, as well as various useful websites that we can access for free such as school subject matter, lesson questions and how to do them are provided in full.
Using e-books has several perks that we sometimes do not realize. These advantages include saving space, multiple access, not limited by space and time, can be in the form of multimedia and save costs. The use of e-books and school supporting webs is deemed capable of increasing interest in reading. Because if we look back before, many families have economic constraints to provide printed reading books. The existence of e-books and school support websites available on smartphones will be a solution to this problem. E-books and school support webs available on smartphones are not only in the form of boring writing, but also available interesting pictures. These pictures are what attract students’ attention and eliminate boredom and provide fun. This ultimately fosters students’ love for books.
For students who are dizzy when reading thick dictionaries, now there is also an English-Indonesian dictionary that can be accessed for free on smartphones. This is very practical especially when we travel. We can add new vocabulary anywhere without having to carry heavy books. This proves that with the advancement of internet technology it can slowly grow students’ interest in reading.
In addition to increasing literacy interest, it turns out that the internet also plays an important role in improving English skills for the younger generation. What is its role?
A simple example is when we play online games. Almost all features or commands in online games use English. This fosters our curiosity to understand the new words we get. From here without us realizing it can slowly trigger our interest in reading. Over time, we got used to using English. This will interest us to read, especially English subject.
Another example, at school we recognize several types of text, namely narrative, recount, procedure, description, report, explanation, analysis exposition, discussion, and review. We know the readings are always long even during exams like reading a magazine because each exam there are approximately 7 readings that include text like this. There are also many tasks of analyzing reading that are so draining of energy, time and thought. In addition to having to know the type of text, the social function, the structure of the text, the linguistic elements, we are also required to be able to translate it instantly. The solution is to use google translate. By frequently encountering questions like this, our vocabulary will also increase. In the future we can translate the text without google translate or a dictionary.
We also know that now is an all-digital era such as e-learning, e-books, e-reports and others. Even now, the exams don’t use paper tests anymore but use computers. With smartphones we can install applications to practice working on the questions of the subjects being tested. Just click on the subject to be tested, for example English, press listening or reading questions, there we can use the headset while pressing the answer. With this, we have utilized internet technology in developing literacy interests as well as English language skills.
Improving English skills for the younger generation is very important. Especially when we continue our study abroad where all the literature is in English. If we expose ourselves with various kind of vocabularies from now on and we are used to dealing with English texts, then we will not encounter difficulties later. When we find new vocabulary, don’t forget to write it down so you don’t forget it!
Another way to improve your English skills is to take the TOEFL test online. Honestly, this is my personal experience which is quite interesting to tell. In this TOEFL test, there will be listening, structure, and reading. Of course there is a lot of text there. At first it will be dreary to read such a long text, but by taking this test which is held once a month over time, we will get used to it and an English text will become something interesting and exciting. In the next two days our test results will be announced. From here, besides getting used to reading English texts, we can also practice answering questions, and we can measure our ability in English. In addition to utilizing internet technology, we can hone our English skills.
Next, we can join an English learning group on Whatsapp, telegram, line or instagram. Every day in this group, an interesting quiz will be given to answer, either in the form of reading text or sharpening our vocabulary. In addition, we can also discuss and practice speaking in English. Of course there are many people who have high skills in English in the group. They do not hesitate to share their knowledge which is very useful for us.
In addition, in improving reading interest and English skills, there are two keys that we need to apply. The first is to cultivate curiosity. That curiosity will help us to continue to grow. When we come across a new phrase, we should always look for what it means, when to use it. With that, our English skills will improve. The second is not to make reading a burden. That will make it even more difficult for us to understand. We must take it with pleasure so that the knowledge gained is easy to absorb.
The low literacy interest of Indonesian students is still a problem for the Indonesian nation that has not been completed until now. Therefore, it is highly expected for students to be more concerned about increasing their literacy interest and English language skills. By reading, our knowledge becomes broad. If the text we read is in English, we will get two-fold benefits, namely adding information and increasing vocabulary. This is very important to improve human resources and also useful for the future of Indonesian students in the future.
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition