Level 1A+B

Halo Brisbane! Learn to speak Indonesian, read Indonesian and write the Indonesian language in this beginner Indonesian course at the IML, and gain an understanding of the rich and diverse cultures of Indonesia. Going to Bali soon? Enrich your experience when you study basic Indonesian; so you can order a meal, get a suit made or catch a taxi in Indonesian. 

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Course overview

Prior knowledge and skills

These courses are for learners with no knowledge or minimal knowledge of the Indonesian language.

Proficiency level

The content of this course corresponds approximately to level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Course aim

At the end of the course learners should be able to perform basic tasks such as exchanging greetings, asking simple questions, reading and writing basic sentences. The course also aims to enable learners to develop socio-cultural knowledge.

Course details

No set textbook. Materials provided during the course.

Recommended: Oey, T. & Davidsen, K. Easy Indonesian. Tuttle. (ISBN: 9780804843133)

  • IML strongly recommends the use of dictionaries, which exist in a variety of printed, online and electronic formats. Tutors may recommend a dictionary at the commencement of the course.
  • Each topic includes relevant social and cultural information.
  • Additional tasks and resources will be provided in class.
  • The IML library located on level 1 in the Joyce Ackroyd Building also has books, magazines, kits, CDs, DVDs and videos for loan to IML students.


Language is learned best with maximum contact and usage. Home exercises will be designed for revision and consolidation of each course segment. Revision is most effective when undertaken regularly in short sessions.


Assessment is optional at the end of the full year course or equivalent. Listening and Speaking skills are assessed throughout the course. An examination to assess Reading and Writing competencies is held at the end of the course and a statement of attainment is then issued. A certificate of attendance is available upon request for students not undertaking assessment who have attended at least 75% of the course.

Further study options

Learners who wish to pursue further studies of this language can enrol in any of the IML Indonesian Level 2 courses.

Course content

Semester 1

Topic Language Functions Language Structures
  • Greeting and taking leave
  • Introductions
  • Identifying and aking about people, places and things
  • Describing people, places and things
  • Affirming and negating
  • Word order: Subject-Verb-Object
  • Script, alphabet and phonetics
  • Possession: object + noun
  • Descriptions: noun + adjective
  • Personal pronouns
  • Use of tidak and bukan
  • Question markers
  • Asking 'yes/no' questions
  • Welcoming
  • Expressing possession
  • Describing people, places and things
  • Asking for and giving directions and locations
  • Giving and responding to instructions
  • Comparing
  • Universal greeting word selamat
  • Indonesian numbering system
  • The verb 'to be'
  • Prepositions dike and dari
  • Locative sentences: ada and terletak
  • Equative, comparative and superlative degree of adjectives
  • Attracting attention
  • Asking for assistance
  • Apologising and excusing
  • Expressing thanks and gratitude
  • Expressing/asking about likes and dislikes
  • Expressing/asking about wants, wishes and intentions requesting goods and services
  • Offering and receiving things
  • Intrasitive and transitive verbs
  • Introduction to the meN~ verbs
  • Introduction to ber~ verbs
  • The use of minta and pesan
  • The question marker Berapa?
  • Indonesian currency and expressing decimal places
  • The use of ada to express availability
  • The use of Sudah for confirmation
  • Expressing and asking about needs
  • Requesting goods and services
  • Asking for and giving confirmation
  • Reacting with joy, anger, surprise or excitement
  • Expressing ability and inability
  • Expressing approval, agreement and disagreement
  • Giving reasons
  • Imperatives and interjections
  • The question marker Berapa?
  • Bisa and tidak bisa!
  • Boleh and tidak boleh!

Semester 2

  Language Functions Language Structures
Hobbies and pastimes
  • Identifying and asking when
  • Describing and asking about routines, habits and procedures
  • Identifying and asking about situations, activities and events
  • Making arrangements
  • Offering and responding to invitations and suggestions
  • Expressing probability and improbability
  • Expressing ability and inability
  • Expressing approval, agreement and disagreement
  • Expressing obligation and duty
  • Giving reasons
  • Telling the time
  • The preposition pada for expressing time
  • Tense markers and time indicators
  • Conjunctions and other transition words and phrases
  • More on meN~ verbs
  • More on ber~ verbs
Travelling around Indonesia
  • Making arrangements
  • Expressing and asking about needs
  • Requesting goods and services
  • Asking for and giving confirmation
  • Expressing ability and inability
  • Expressing approval, agreement and disagreement
  • Giving reasons
  • More on minta and pesan
  • More on the preposition pada for expressing time
  • More on ada to express availability
  • More on bisa and boleh
  • More on the use of Sudah for confirmation
Telling tales
  • Revision of various language functions
  • Revision of sentences and question structures
  • Writing basic narratives
  • Consolidation of the preposition pada for expressing time
  • Consolidation of tense markers and time indicators
  • Consolidation of basic conjunctions and other basic transition words and phrases
  • Consolidation of common meN~ and ber~ verbs