Like Two Peas in a Pod
Written by: Yesa - SMA 2
Have you ever pondered over an easy way to learn a language, especially English? Well, you came to the right place. In this article I will reveal the two easy ways that worked for me and a bulk of the young non-native speakers all over the world! I hope this article will help you in learning English effortlessly. So you can enjoy learning English by your own preference. Frequent exposure is the key to learning a language and the Internet is one way to get there. The usage of the English language can be found almost everywhere on the internet. During covid-19 pandemic, students rely on the internet to continue their study when schools are closed, to communicate with the teachers and do assignments. The internet has been used more widely these days as online education has become more popular.
The Internet has played a big role in education, making it easier to access information and knowledge from various subjects. Gen Z, the most internet-dependent generation, spends more than 8 hours a day online. Statistics revealed in January 2020 that English was the most popular language and can be found almost everywhere on the internet, making up as
much as 25,9% of worldwide internet users. This shows how big of a role the Internet plays in the life of Gen-Zers like us, from education, texting, entertainment, gaming, and even e-commercing.
It has also greatly influenced the growth of English literacy among Generation Z (Gen Z), particularly for those who live in non-English speaking countries. Social Media and Entertainment are one of the biggest contributors for Gen-Z literacy growth.
English is a universal language of communication which connects everyone around the globe. One of the platforms the Internet provides is social media applications. Social media apps nowadays have most users with English as their default language, meaning that in order to be able to communicate with most people in social media, you need to understand and use English. The latest data suggest that the amount of social media users adds up to a shocking number, more than 70% of the population of the world are active social media users.
Famous social networking apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter where users can share their moments to the public eye or even limit it up to their followers only. English is being used in almost every post; namely captions, comments, and replies. Social media comprises various contents, may it be informative, comedic, entertaining, dramatic, sentimental, and so on. More people have become writers, comedians, vloggers, etc in the social media apps world. This shows literacy growth has increased since the internet users are multiplying as we discuss. More active contributors of social media apps create interesting and creative contents to promote literacy growth in society. More people become literate as easily as accessing social media on the palm of their hands.
However, the downside of social media is that teenagers nowadays seem to be having difficulties when trying to elaborate their thoughts in formal writing, like essays and articles, due to the habit of texting messages in short and the usage of slang language. They also tend to dislike reading long pages of books because they have been used to instant information from googling everything they want to know. On top of that, bullying happens the most in social media which defeats the whole purpose of using language as a tool to connect with people. As the future of this generation, we should utilize the Internet wisely and build an educated and compassionate generation. To use social media apps wisely and compassionately will be the key to have a healthy social media community.
Entertainment is one of the basic needs of a human being. People find enjoyment from the activities they do everyday. The Internet provides numerous sets of entertainment.
Unlike TVs and offline media like newspapers and novels, the internet provides the same content, except that it is mostly free and easily accessible, it can be used for streaming Hollywood movies, TV shows and cartoons, reading international/English newsletters or even reading e-books online. A great example is one of the top streaming apps, Netflix. You can watch numerous high-quality movies and TV shows for an affordable price; providing movies ranging from the newly-released to the old classic. There is no need to go to the cinema for a good movie when Netflix provides it from the comfort of your home.
Now let us take a look at YouTube. Who has never surfed the YouTube platform? I believe if YouTube is a TV, it would have the biggest number of viewers in the world. People from diverse backgrounds and different age ranges all know the magic of this app. You can find just about anything on YouTube. However, people are inclined to watch more YouTube videos instead of creating one. When young people like us have more passion in creating interesting and educational YouTube videos, it could encourage other people to do so too. Creating YouTube videos will promote more active literacy activities, and improve your listening, speaking and writing skills.
Not to mention that the music industry revolves around Hollywood. From hip-hop to pop, all different genres of Hollywood songs are loved by people all around the world. As they say, music is the way to someone’s heart. As an example, Rich Brian, an Indonesian rapper, who has made his way to Hollywood, had previously taught himself how to speak English by watching YouTube videos and by listening to American rappers prior to his success.
I think that this is like killing two birds with one stone, as learning English can be watching YouTube videos that we like or singing along to the music videos that we like, which makes learning a lot more interesting! It is not only YouTube as a platform of entertainment, Netflix and other famous entertainment platforms have opened the door to an unlimited number of ways to have fun while sharpening our English and literacy skills.
The Internet has helped in improving my English conversational skills. For an introvert like me, it is hard to strike up a conversation with someone you are not familiar with. What is more, my circle of friends usually speak a mix of Indonesian, English and Hokkien. So unfortunately, I can not find a way to develop my English conversational skills aside from school. However, with the help of the internet, I can meet new people online and chat with proper English, without being too formal the same way we talk to teachers or adults. Texting online in English boosts my confidence in speaking English, because I do not get nervous the way I do when talking to a person face-to-face, and I could also take my time to write a nicely-written reply without getting my words all jumbled up and getting tense when I accidentally make a spelling or grammar error. I could just correct it afterwards, unlike when I am having face-to face conversations, where it may feel off when you correct what you have said a few minutes ago after your friend has already moved on to another topic. You can not beat a dead horse. Thanks to the Internet, my English literacy has advanced and I believe yours can too! I have become more confident to learn and use English more.
Like Two Peas in a Pod
In conclusion, the internet is an eye opener to the world we live in. To make use of the internet well, we use English as the universal language of communication.
For Gen Z and beyond, the Internet and English are both important to connect us with each other and encourage us to sharpen our literacy skills. Like two peas in a pod, both work harmoniously to bring knowledge and joy to our lives.
Author : Yesa – SMA Kelas XI Kingston School Medan
Theme : Internet X English : The Role in the Advancement of Literacy (Internet X Bahasa Inggris: Peran dalam Kemajuan Literasi)
Word count : 1310
Saya generasi muda yang peduli literasi! Artikel ini ditulis sebagai bentuk serta EF Literacy Day Competition 2021: https://www.ef.co.id/writing-competition
“Generation Z Statistics – January 2021.” 99firms, 18.Jul.2021, 99firms.com/blog/generation-z-statistics/#gref.
“Global Social Media Stats – DataReportal – Global Digital Insights.” DataReportal, datareportal.com/social-media-users
“Internet: most common languages online 2020.” Statistica, 27.Jan.2021, www.statista.com/statistics/262946/share-of-the-most-common-languages-on-the-internet/