Dr Roby Marlina
(Language Specialist at SEAMEO-RELC, Singapore)
This book is not simply a compilation of poetry, but a compilation of powerful, critical, and inspiring poetry on various controversial issues ranging from gender to politics, and from religion to language. As an applied linguist and a teacher-educator, I see Yacinta’s compilation of poetry as a brilliant linguistic model for language learners, especially from Indonesia, to learn to take ownership of their language use and to confidently assert their various identities. One of the key applied linguists, Henry Widdowson, argues in a convincing manner that not only should language teachers teach their students how to be proficient and competent in the language, but should also promote linguistic ownership. This means (1) raising students’ awareness of how language is an infinitely malleable entity, and therefore, (2) teaching how they, as language users, can bend the language at their own will and manipulate it in an innovative manner as well as from the position of knowledge in order to suit their identities and to express their sociocultural realities.
To Whom It May Concern is a compilation of quintessential text for a language learning lesson/program that intends to achieve the aforementioned aims. It showcases how language is used creatively to express one’s viewpoint and to contest unapologetically various unspoken inequalities and discursive practices observed in today’s society. In the words of one of my students from Indonesia after being engaged in understanding several of Yacinta’s poems, “Ibu Yacinta’s poems are harsh, vulgar, loaded with expletives, but all are done in the name of justice, fairness, integrity, and, simply, love”.
Dewan Redaksi JP, Redaksi JP, pemerhati masalah perempuan
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