Language Centre

Indonesian Beginners Course

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Key information

1 term per sub-level; 10 weeks per term
Attendance mode
Part-time, online/blended learning

Course overview

Course aim

This course provides a thorough introduction to Indonesian. It covers typical themes of grammar vocabulary and cultural contexts of the language. You will develop an understanding of the main standard features of pronunciation, how to read and write and to build up basic knowledge about the Indonesian language as well as basic awareness of the culture, and society where the language is spoken. As the course progresses, it aims to provide you with further confidence and vocabulary to discuss more complex topics, write and read more challenging texts in the language. This course is delivered by the Language Centre


The course is taught in Indonesian and English with coverage of the four key skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and a good balance between communicative activities, structure practice and grammar. Students are encouraged to start speaking the language from the outset, and exercises are set that require pair work and group activities. You are expected to attend regularly, participate in class and complete homework regularly to ensure learning progress.

This will be achieved through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.


Course materials will be provided by the tutor with recommendations and access to various online resources.

Entry requirements and progression route

For the first stage of Indonesian Beginners (i.e. Indonesian Beginners 1), no previous knowledge is required. To be able to join Beginners 2 or 3 you should have completed Beginners 1 and 2 respectively at SOAS Language Centre or have an equivalent knowledge of guided learning hours (20 hours per each sub-level). The progression route from Indonesian Beginners 1 is to Indonesian Beginners 2; from Beginners 2 to Beginners 3.

Please note, that each term, courses are subject to quorum requirements.

For course dates and information, please see our timetables


Indonesian Beginners 1

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • greet and introduce yourself
  • exchange personal information: name, nationality
  • talk about jobs and professions
  • use numbers (0-1 billion; fractions and ordinal numbers)
  • talk about your family
  • use colours
  • ask and tell the time
  • use days of the week and months of the year
  • talk about times and routines in school, offices
  • indicate frequency
  • identify and use vocabulary related to food
  • bargain (when buying food)
  • talk about leisure and activities you like doing
  • make comparisons
  • develop an understanding of Indonesian culture

Indonesian Beginners 2

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • identify body parts
  • describe people
  • make a conversation in a hospital / doctor – patient context
  • give and ask for directions
  • invite someone to join in an activity
  • inquire information about a tourist spot
  • make a conversation in tour company – customer context
  • plan an itinerary for a trip
  • compare product’s quality and features
  • bargain (buying clothes and items in a market)
  • develop an understanding of Indonesian culture

Indonesian Beginners 3

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • retell something that happened in the past
  • describe events in the present
  • talk about something that will or could happen in the future
  • talk about dreams and aspirations
  • talk about projects
  • describe a memorable event
  • narrate an event using different perspectives
  • make conversations on the topics covered in beginners 1 and 2 courses using more advanced vocabularies
  • develop an understanding of Indonesian culture

The above is an indication of content that may be covered over the duration of the course but it could vary depending on the level and progress of students in the class.

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Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules

See more information on the language on the Language Centre Indonesian homepage

Related information

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