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Indonesian Language 1


Admission requirements



Indonesian Language 1 is an intensive language course for beginners, in which students acquire the basic structures and basic vocabulary of Indonesian, as well as cultural knowledge necessary for effective communication in this language.

The course consists of two closely linked components: Structures and Communication. The weekly Structures class is focused on acquiring knowledge of Indonesian grammar and the practical ability to apply this knowledge in oral and written discourse. We also attend to the history of Indonesian. The weekly Communication class is devoted to acquiring practical competence in Indonesian by means of exercises in conversation, oral presentation, comprehension of texts, and writing skills.

Indonesian Language 1 is an integrated whole, both components of which mutually support each other. It is not possible to follow the Structures and Communication classes separately.

Course objectives

  • The ability to communicate effectively with limited means in Indonesian cultural contexts

  • Basic knowledge of the vocabulary and word and sentence structures of Indonesia in order to be able to speak, read, and write on a simple level, and to be able to understand simple spoken messages. The overall level to be attained in this course for active and receptive language use according to the Common European Framework of Reference is A1.

  • Basic knowledge of the grammar of Indonesian and the ability to apply this knowledge in oral and written discourse

  • Knowledge of the social history of the Indonesian language



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 280 hours.

  • Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 60 hours.

  • Approximate time for studying Sneddon 2003 (on the history of the Indonesian language): 32 hours

  • Approximate time for preparing for classes by studying the course materials and memorizing and revising the vocabulary: 104 hours

  • Approximate time for completing the homework: 48 hours

  • Approximate time for writing the assignments on Sneddon 2003: 36 hrs

Assessment method

The assessment of Indonesian Language 1 consists of the following elements:

  1. Marks for the weekly written homework for both the Structures and Communication components (this counts for 40% of the overall mark). The homework must be submitted through Blackboard at least 24 hours before the beginning of the class concerned. Late submissions will receive a mark of “1”. Students must do the homework individually.
    1. Two written assignments concerning Sneddon 2003 (for a total of 20% of the overall mark). Both assignments will have the form of a short essay. They will be made available through Blackboard during the course of the semester. The completed assignments must be submitted within one week via Blackboard. Late submissions will receive a mark of “1”. Students must do these assignments individually.
    2. An oral examination at the end of the course (20% of the overall mark).
    3. A written examination at the end of the course (20% of the overall mark).

To pass the course, students must have contributed actively to at least 75% of class meetings and receive an overall mark for the course of 6 or higher.
A resit exam is possible only for element (4), and only if the student participated in the first written exam and received an overall mark for the entire course of “5” or lower.
The course is an integrated whole. All categories must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Blackboard is used for:

  • announcements

  • course materials

  • making available of homework and assignments

  • submission of homework and assignments by students

Blackboard serves as the primary means of communication about the course between instructors and students outside class meetings. Registration for the course on Blackboard is essential

Reading list

Readings for the Structures component
The learning materials for the Structures component are:

  • The textbook Asyik berbahasa Indonesia, jliid 1 / Indonesian grammar through communicative activities, vol. 1, by Ellen Rafferty, Molly Burns, and Shintia Argazali-Thomas.
    This book is in press. A pre-publication version will be made available by the instructors.

  • Sneddon, James. 2003. The Indonesian language: its history and role in modern society. Sydney: UNSW Press. [240 pp.]
    This book is to be studied in its entirety. It will not be treated in class, but the students will be given the opportunity to ask questions about it.

Readings for the Communication component
The learning materials for the Communication component are:

  • The textbooks Ayo ngobrol / Conversational Indonesian, vol. 1 and vol. 2, by Ellen Rafferty, Erlin Barnard, and Lucy Suharni.
    These books are in press. Pre-publication versions will be made available by the instructors.


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


Dhr. Prof. Dr. B. Arps
Dhr. Dr. A.T.P.G. van Engelenhoven
Dhr. Drs. S. Suryadi