Syllabus – beginner (youth & adult)

Bahasa Indonesia - Class Syllabus


(Youth & Adults, age 15 & up)

FALL 2019

Course description

This course is designed for students who have little or no knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia.  It will provide students with the basic structures they need to communicate in Indonesian. Students will also learn various aspects of Indonesian culture through videos, pictures, articles, and class discussions.

Class activities

Classes are interactive, mirroring everyday situations and requiring a variety of skills. Grammar is presented through examples with an emphasis on both speaking and writing during class drills, choral work, and intensive small-group discussions. A short presentation, listening to audio recordings, singing, watching films/videos, and reading short passages will also be used as teaching aids.

Class schedule & location

Every Saturday; 7 sessions; September 14 - November 2, 2019 (no class on September 28, 2019 due to IndoFest 2019 at Copley Square, Boston.

From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (2 hours per session).

Building 1 – Room 273, MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA.

Course instruction:  

50% in Bahasa Indonesia, 50 % in English


Satyawidya Wulansari (Tia)


Course Policies and Expectations

Class participation

Active participation in the class expected from all students; thus, regular attendance is required. The instructor should be notified a day (24 hours) in advance in case a student is absent.

Evaluation and Grades

Varied types of evaluation are included in the class to keep both students and instructor aware of students' progress. During the semester, students will take midterm and end of semester tests.

Class participation including attendance: 40%

Homework and Assignments: 15%

Midterm test: 15%

Textbook (print edition)

All of the materials will be provided by the instructor. The materials are taken from various grammar books such as Sahabatku Indonesia Tingkat A1 and Indonesian Ways books.

Additional materials:

  • Websites:

Learning Indonesian on the Internet (Center for Southeast Asian Studies Northern Illinois University): and

  • Grammar book:

Sneddon, James Neil, Indonesian: A Comprehensive Grammar. London: Routledge, 2010 (available at Harvard library and on Amazon)

  • Dictionary:

Echols, John & Shadily, Hasan. 1996. Indonesian English

Sederet online dictionary:



Course Contents

Session 1

Topic: Introduction to Bahasa Indonesia and Basic Greetings

Students will be able to:

  • Name the alphabets and produce the sounds in Bahasa Indonesia.
  • Greet others and initiate small conversations during the introduction session.
  • Learn the pronouns.

Cultural element: Various ways of greetings in Indonesia.


Session 2

Topic: Family and Hobbies

Students will be able to:

  • Ask basic information about others and introduce others (family members).
  • Compose nominal sentences.
  • Negate a nominal sentence using “bukan”.

Cultural element: The diversity of wedding ceremony in Indonesia.


Session 3

Topic: Numbers

Students will be able to:

  • Name the numbers.
  • Seek and provide information using the question word “berapa”.
  • Create dialogues to practice using numbers.


Session 4

The midterm test will be given at the beginning of the class.

Topic: Daily activities

Students will be able to:

  • Tell the time.
  • Describe everyday activities using appropriate verbs.

Cultural element: National holidays in Indonesia and how they are celebrated.


Session 5

Topic: Sentences in Bahasa Indonesia

Students will be able to:

  • Compose basic sentences using the subject and predicate format.
  • Negate sentences using “tidak” and “bukan” negation words.
  • Form questions using targeted question words.

Cultural element: Animals and plants native to Indonesia


Session 6

Topic: Likes vs. Dislikes

Students will be able to:

  • Describe animate and inanimate objects using appropriate adjectives.
  • Explain one’s likes and dislikes and wants and needs.

Cultural element: Places to find delicious Indonesian food.


Session 7

The final test will be given at the beginning of the class.

Students will create a dialogue with a partner as part of their performance task.

Students will compose a 2-3 paragraph essay about an important person in their lives using the targeted vocabulary and grammar points that have been taught.

Students will complete a course evaluation at the end of the class.


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