Syllabus – intermediate (youth & adult)

Bahasa Indonesia - Class Syllabus


(Youth & Adult, age 15 & up)



Course description

This course is designed for students who have previously learned Bahasa Indonesia. Students taking this class should know about 100 words (e.g., numbers, family kinship, greetings, and pronouns), be able to compose simple sentences and questions verbally and in writing, and have a basic understanding of the grammar structure. In this intermediate course, students will learn more complex grammatical structures and expand their vocabulary which will allow them to speak and write more fluently. 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; March 7 - April 18, 2020.

From 1.30 p.m. – 3.30 p.m. (2 hours per session).

Pao Arts Center, Classroom 2, 99 Albany Street, Boston, MA, 02111.

Course instruction:  

60% in Bahasa Indonesia, 40% 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: 50%

Homework and Assignments: 15%

Midterm test: 15%

Final performance task: 20%

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: Anda dari mana? (Where are you from?)

Students will be able to:

  • Ask where a person comes from.
  • Name countries in Indonesian (e.g., United States – Amerika Serikat, Japan – Jepang).
  • Distinguish the use of existential verb ada to ask and answer questions (e.g., Ada 5 orang di keluarga saya) from the verb ada followed by prepositional place (e.g., Sungai Nil ada di Mesir).

Cultural element: Gojek, the hottest start-up company in Indonesia.

A pre-assessment will be given at the beginning of the session.


Session 2

Topic: Kamu ada dimana? (Where are you?)

Students will be able to:

  • Name commonly found places (e.g., rumah, kantor, sekolah, supermarket)
  • Describe a location using “ada + prepositional place”.
  • Use different prepositional place accurately (di, ke, dari)

Cultural element: Sinetron, the soap opera of Indonesia.


Session 3

Topic: Apa kamu sudah makan? (have you eaten yet?)

Students will be able to:

  • Use time markers accurately to show tenses: akan, sudah, belum, and sedang.
  • Practice “baru + time” and “sudah + time” to indicate a length of time.
  • Tell time.

Cultural element: Jobs you can only find in Indonesia.


Session 4

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

Topic: Ini mobil siapa? Itu punya Alex. (Whose car is this? That’s Alex’s)

Students will be able to:

  • Modify nouns using adjectives using previously learned vocabulary and forms.
  • Use “ini” and “itu” as determiner and know the difference when they are used as pronouns.
  • Use the referential function of –nya to point to something already known or mentioned in the discourse.

Cultural element: 3 course meals, does this concept exist in Indonesia?


Session 5

Topic: Apa baju ini lebih mahal? (Is this shirt more expensive?)

Students will be able to:

  • Modify nouns using adjectives using previously learned vocabulary and forms.
  • Use comparative forms to compare objects: lebih … daripada, paling/ter-, dan sama …-nya/se-.
  • Compose a dialogue or a descriptive paragraph using the various forms of noun modifiers.

Cultural element: Kamu orang Medan ya? Ways to tell Indonesians from one another.


Session 6

Topic: Apa yang kamu lakukan sesudah pulang ke rumah? (What do you do after you get home?) 

Students will be able to:

  • Form noun phrases using the relative clause “yang + adjective” and “yang + verb” in order to identify, describe, or characterize nouns.
  • Practice combining sentences using “yang”.

Cultural element: 24 hours in Jakarta.


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 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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