Published: 22 Nov 2022

Many still think that speaking in English or a foreign language sounds cooler than speaking in Indonesian. Moreover, many Indonesian students and people with language skills still need to improve. This is especially in the case with the  written language.

All of this motivated Shabil Syach Pachlefi, a student of the 2020 International Relations Study Program, President University (PresUniv), to participate in Duta Bahasa Nasional 2022. Shabil said further about this, "Many students can't even tell the difference between writing “di” word which is separated from that which is not. Unfortunately, some of them consider the limitations of the Indonesian language to be something cool."

All of that continued Shabil, inspired him to become a youth icon who cares about language. To make this happen, Shabil also participated in the 2022 National Language Ambassador event , organized directly by the Language Development and Development Agency, an agency under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbud Ristek).

The selection process for the National Language Ambassador is held over a five month period, from June to October 2022. The selection process is carried out in stages. Starting at the provincial level, then moving up to the national level.

Shabil started by winning the Language Ambassador event for West Java Province. Since then, he has had to undergo a four-month preparation period to participate in the National Language Ambassador event. The stages that are passed in this National Language Ambassador event include:

  1. Administrative Selection and Indonesian Language Proficiency Test,
  2. Public Speech and Language Interview,
  3. Psychotest,
  4. Foreign Language Interview,
  5. Krida Presentation,
  6. Demonstration of your artistic and cultural talents.
  7. Award Night.

During the process, Shabil and his partner succeeded in creating a Sundanese language learning application that adopted the concept of gamification, namely language learning through games. The types of games included in the application are role-playing games and visual learning through cards and videos. The application can be accessed at bit.ly/Sandana.

After going through a series of processes, finally Shabil was placed second in the competion n for the 2022 National Language Ambassador. The award night was held on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, at Hotel Batavia, Jakarta. As a Language Ambassador, Shabil will take part in building the spirit of being proud to speak Indonesian properly and correctly. This is in line with the spirit of the Language Development and Development Agency, namely Trigatra Bangun Bahasa. This spirit includes Prioritizing the Indonesian Language, Preserving Regional Languages, and Mastering Foreign Languages.

For Shabil, the experience of participating in such a contest provides a lot of knowledge and learning experiences. One of these is understanding the influence of language and literacy intelligence on the younger generation, which affects character. He explained further about this matter, "This can be seen through various cases, such as cases of sexual violence and bullying that began with the low capacity in language and litteray intelligence.. For example, he added that online bullying occurs due to a lack of skills in digital literacy, including ethics, responsibility, and skills in using social media," he added.

Taking the position of second best, Shabil also expressed his pride. He said, "Being a youth icon who cares about language is one of the best paths I have chosen. Choosing to be an intelligent and literate child of the nation is one of my forms of support for realizing the Indonesian Golden Generation 2045."

For all Presuniv students, Shabil conveyed his message, "For those who aspire to be a part of this journey, I suggest not to be afraid of being an beginner. Because the empty glass will be filled over time and become the best. No one is instantly great. It all started from not knowing anything," concluded Shabil. (Lita Gabriella. PR team. Photo: Shabil Syach)