Sunday, 29 November 2015

Administering the Blog English Club [EF #32]

The latest BEC challenge is about an exciting thing we're currently doing. I was thinking of writing about preparing for my son starting school but suddenly I thought why don't I write about something related to BEC itself?

I started as an excited reader of BEC (and its members') posts. I was excited by the motivation and enthusiasm of all involved (the administers, the mentors, the members, the readers :p ). However, I also noticed the reducing numbers of participation as the time goes by, and started wondering why. About two months ago, I decided to ask if the admins might need additional personnel, and they gladly accepted me as a new admin. 

Administering BEC has been both exciting and challenging. As this is a voluntary "work", I really appreciate the hard working all the people put behind BEC. Sometimes I wonder too why I'm willing to do this, while I have my own life and responsibility to take care of. And yes, there are more things I'm wondering now... Two of those are related to BEC challenge: English and writing. So, instead of writing about how I'm administering BEC, let me write about the motivations behind it :P.

What is the importance of English proficiency? Correlation with Economy, Quality of Life, and Innovations

A quick survey I did this morning brought me to this webpage and this report: A report about English Proficiency Index (EPI). Despite its flaw in taking sampling, it gives us a "picture" about the EPI worldwide and how it correlates with some important aspects of a country.

Figure 1. EPI 2015: Asia (source: here)

One of the test used to establish the index was online internet test (and this is one flaw mostly criticised). That means the sampling was based on the internet user, which I think has moderate english proficiency. If we take into account a (great) number of non internet user (or those who simply do not know about this test), the EPI (of Indonesia) might be lower.

Now, how important is it? Yes, I know that this report is provided by an English training company :P but the result of the survey is, in my opinion, expected: English proficiency correlates positively with many important factors including: national income per capita, ease of doing business, research and development area, and  high-technology exports.

Figure 2.  EPI correlation with Economy (source: here)

What is the importance of writing?
Can I just say that writing skill is important? :D I couldn't find a simple study report on writing skill importance. But I have a really good post about writing from a friend of mine. Let me cite some points from his post: "Long writing (how can I translate "menulis panjang”, by the way? xD) skill is important, because (many of) the scientific and important papers/documents are indeed long-written papers. It takes combined skills of systematically expressing our thoughts and improving these thoughts into a long narration; which takes more than (merely) writing 140 characters in Twitter (or Facebook or Whatsapp…)" :P.
Many studies also indicated that writing is a complex process and it correlates positively with learning / cognitive activity. 

In terms of scientific/research paper, let me show you a table showing academic publications between 1996 - 2014 of Asia countries:

Figure 3. Academic publications statistics for Asia countries. (Source: here)

And that's just the numbers, have not been normalised with the number of population..

Let me also cite some paragraph from this publication that might make you want to do and contribute more to Indonesia. (I'm so sorry that, not as usual, I choose to cite directly instead of paraphrasing ;D ):
"Yet a recent estimation that those residing outside Indonesia (both non-resident Indonesians and foreigners) account for ninety percent of all scholarly articles published on Indonesia overseas may serve as a wake-up here. If true, this makes Indonesia one of the countries least effective in explaining itself to the outside world. Such a situation cannot bode well for the Republic. Even if the McKinsey Global Institute September 2012 economic forecast that Indonesia will move from sixteenth to seventh largest economy in the world by 2030 proves correct, it will be a ship without a compass. . . "

* * * 
So yeah, why am I still spending my time and putting some thoughts and efforts for BEC? Because I want to change those graphs and numbers (to be better figures of course!).. and this is at least what I can do.. and I know there are many more fellows having the same motivation and dream for Indonesia..


  1. Wooow. Thank you for sharing your story-behind-administering BEC ya Bu Vita. Really appreciate it. Thank you!

  2. You could have written this for the essay, gurl! If ever we could conduct such survey (other version of EPI-survey sample taken from number of participant computer-based, paper-based test. Or local language courses that organize english test). The fact is, some language courses hold number of English tests that are not internationaly recognized and most participants take the test as one of work/study requirements.
    I'm sure many of us find the importance of English language. Look at huge number of BEC Members ;)

    1. That's right.. but I always "normalised" the number to the total population of Indonesia, which is really big. So I always think that the percentage is always lower compared to other neighbouring country :(

    2. Yup, we are big. It doesn't seem just to compare our whole country with that small country Singapore. But then again, the good point is, we realize that we have so many homeworks to be done. We have to catch up! The MEA is just around the corner! We wouldn't want to be left out by our neighbouring countries, would we?!