• Adip Arifin STKIP PGRI Ponorogo, Indonesia



During the COVID-19 outbreak, Indonesian government continuously announces its people for strictly obeying health protocols; one of them is to keep “Stay at home.†The announcement was given in spoken and written form through various media, such as national TV broadcasts, social media, online newspaper, and government official websites. This study is aimed at investigating the language choice realized in government appeals for letting Indonesian EFL students “Stay at home.†A total of 389 respondents were involved, varied from diploma to postgraduate degree (from first to above four year) who were chosen purposively based on the basis of their availability, residence, and convenience. The data were collected through online questionnaire which piloted first and examined its reliability through SPSS (0.88 Cronbach’s Alpha).  The data then analyzed quantitatively by employing descriptive statistics; particularly finding their frequency distribution. The result of analysis showed that the use of inspirative language was the most liked option, chosen by 341 respondents (185 agree and 156 strongly disagree). Other language choices preferred were figurative (336 positive responses), solutive (331 positive responses) and persuasive (329 positive responses). In contrast, the language choices which showed higher negative response were Interrogative (50 responses), permissive (26 responses), exclamative (24 responses), and imperative (20 responses). The findings suggested that the use of effective language choice affects much on respondents’ compliance to obey COVID-19 health protocol, particularly for stay at home.


Keywords:  Language Choice; Government Appeal; Health Protocols; Indonesian EFL learners

Author Biography

Adip Arifin, STKIP PGRI Ponorogo, Indonesia

Lecture at English Department, STKIP PGRI Ponorogo


Abram, M. H. & Harpham, G. G. (2005). A glossary of literary terms (9th Ed.). Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Adeyanju, D. (2009). Idiomatic variation in Nigerian English: Implications for standardization in the context of globalization. Journal of English Studies, 7(1), 7-22. Retrieved from

Ansah, M. A. (2014). Language choice in multilingual communities: The case of Larteh, Ghana. Legon Journal of the Humanities, 25, 37-57.

Arifin, A. (2018). How non-native writers realize their interpersonal meaning? Lingua Cultura, 12(2), 155-161.

Arifin, A. (2019). How good Indonesian EFL students realize subject-verb agreement in joint construction practice? Asian EFL Journal, 23(3.4), 53-71. Retrieved from

Arifin, A. Retmono & Warsono. (2014). Mistakes within the descriptive texts produced by undergraduate students. English Education Journal, 4(2), 82-89. Retrieved from

Armstrong, E., & Ferguson, A. (2010). Language, meaning, context, and functional communication.

Banikalef, A. A., et al. (2015). Apology strategies in Jordanian Arabic. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies, 15(2), 83-99. Retrieved from

Brenneman, M. H., Morris, R. D., & Israelian, M. (2007). Language preference and its relationship with reading skills in English and Spanish. Psychology in the Schools, 44(2), 171-181.

Cohn, A. C. & Ravindranath. M. (2014). Local languages in Indonesia: Language maintenance or language shift? Linguistik Indonesia, 32(2), 131-148. DOI:

Collington, V. & Fook, J. (2016). Instigating change through appreciative inquiry: A case study. International Journal of Higher Education Management (IJHEM), 3(1), 1-13.

Collins, P. (2004). Exclamative clauses: A corpus-based account. Proceedings of the 2004 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society.

da Rosa, E. (2017). Linguistic variation in English. Revista de Letras, 19(25), 35-50. Retrieved from

Darmi, R. et al. (2018). Variations of L1 use in the English language class. GEMA Online® Journal of Language Studies, 18(2), 284-311. Retrieved from

Dillard, J. P. (2014). Language, Style, and Persuasion. The Oxford Handbook of Language and Social Psychology, Publisher: Oxford, Editors: Holtgraves, T. pp.177-187

Dewi, U. P. & Setiadi, C. J. (2018). Language attitude and language choice in bilingual academic learning environment. Lingua Cultura, 12(4), 369-373.

Dörnyei, Z., & Skehan, P. (2003). Individual differences in second language learning. In C. J. Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Dweik, B. S. & Qawar, H. A. (2015). Language choice and language attitudes in a multilingual Arab Canadian community: Quebec– Canada: A Sociolinguistic study. British Journal of English Linguistics, 3(1), 1-12. Retrieved from

Ebrahimi, S. F., Chan, S. H., & Tan, H. Choice and use of context frames to augment the writing of result and discussion section of research articles across four disciplines. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature Journal, 21(1), 71-80.

Fajrin, M. Y. & Parmawati, A. (2021). An analysis of figurative language found in song of Bruno Mars entitled “Grenadeâ€. Project, 4(4), 588-594.

Fahmee, F. & Fung, M. F. (2016). Language choice in online written communication among Maldivian professionals. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature Journal, 22(2), 49–66.

Fauzan. (2013). Persuasive strategies used on slogans cigarette’s advertisement. UIN Malang: Thesis.

Gee, G. C., Walsemann, K. M., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2010). English proficiency and language preference: Testing the equivalence of two measures. American Journal of Public Health, 100(3), 563–569.

Han, L. (2019). A review of the major varieties of English language. International Education Studies, 12(2), 93-99.

Hasanah, A. U. (2019). Persuasive techniques used by travel agent online “Traveloka†advertisement on YouTube. UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya: Thesis

Holmes, J. (2013). An introduction to Sociolinguistics (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Iswara, A, A. & Bisena, K, A. (2020). Manipulation and persuasion through language features in fake news. Retorika: Jurnal Ilmu Bahasa, 6(1), 26-32.

Jia, G., Aaronson, D., & Wu, Y. (2002). Long-term language attainment of bilingual immigrants: Predictive variables and language group differences. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23, 599– 621.

Kasnadi, Sutejo, Arifin, A. (2019). Integrating humanitarian values in teaching translation of Indonesian aphorisms into English. Asian EFL Journal, 23(3.4), 182-198. Retrieved from

Lecumberri, M. L. G. (2001). Native language influence in learners' assessment of English focus. International Journal of English Studies, 1(1), 53-71. Retrieved from

Åukasiewicz, E. (2012). Perception, processing and storage of subphonemic and extralinguistic features in spoken word recognition - An argument from language variation and change. Open Linguistics, 16(1), 1–19.

Macpherson, A. (2015). Introduction to appreciative inquiry. Retrieved from

Meletis, D. (2020). Types of allography. Open Linguistics, 6(1), 249–266.

Nicolau, M. F. S. & Sukamto, K. E. (2014). Male and female attitudes towards swear words: A case study at Binus International School. k@ta Journal, 16(2), 71-76.

Ningrum, S. & Crosthwaite, P. (2020). Gender-preferential language use in L1 and L2 argumentative essays? Evidence against lists of ‘gendered’language features. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(1), 226-241.

Paauw, S. (2009). One Land, One Nation, One Language: An Analysis of Indonesia’s National Language Policy. University of Rochester Working Papers in the Language Sciences, vol. 5 (1), pp. 1-16. Retrieved from on August 3rd 2019

Pawlak, M. (2012). The dynamic nature of motivation in language learning: A classroom perspective. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2(2), 249-278.

Pinem, Y. A. & Nasution, F. F. Y. (2019). Stylistic analysis of English imperative command mood transfer to Javanese. LLT Journal: A Journal on Language and Language Teaching, 22(1), 11-22.

Qazi, A. et al. (2014). Enhancing business intelligence by means of suggestive reviews. Hindawi: The Scientific World Journal, 2014, 1-11.

Ramendra, D. P. (2013). Variasi pemakaian bahasa pada masyarakat tutur Kota Singaraja. Jurnal Ilmu Sosial dan Humaniora, 2(2), 275-287.

Seargeant, P., Tagg, C. & Ngampramuan, W. (2012). Language choice and addressivity strategies in Thaiâ€English social network interactions. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 16(4), 510-531.

Setiawati, R. D. (2019). Variasi bahasa dalam situasi tidak formal pada mahasiswa program studi Pendidikan Bahasa Indonesia di Universitas Tadulako. Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra, 4(1), 1-11. Retrieved from

Suprayitno, E., Rois, S., & Arifin, A. (2019). Character value: The neglected hidden curriculum in Indonesian EFL context. Asian EFL Journal, 23(3.3), 212-229. Retrieved from

Tenia, N. & Saripudin, R. (2019). Analysis diction and anaphora language style in Unilever Indonesia products advertisement on television. Project, 2(1), 58-64.

Vogel, J. (2017). From exclusivity of the standard language to critical discursive flexibility in first-language teaching: The Slovenian case. XLinguae Journal, 10(2), 38-50. 10.18355/XL.2017.10.02.04

Waridah. (2015). Penggunaan bahasa dan variasi bahasa dalam berbahasa dan berbudaya. Jurnal Simbolika, 1(1), 84-92.

Webber, P. (1994). The function of questions in different medical English genres. English for Specific Purposes, 13(3), 257-68.

Zuhriyah, L. (2018). Perempuan, pendidikan dan arsitek peradaban bangsa. Martabat: Jurnal Perempuan dan Anak, 2(2), 249-268.