Conference Report:
The Fourth International Conference on Teaching Indonesian
to Speakers of Other Languages 1)
The Fourth International Conference on the Teaching of Indonesian to Speakers of Other Languages (KIPBIPA) was considered by some to be the best yet of its kind. The conference took place at a four-star hotel in Bali. Several international presenters were present, including almost 70 from Australia. The presentations as well as the conference organization were both very professional. The purposes of the conference included the following: 1) develop the theoretical foundations for teaching BIPA; 2) develop the criteria for the development of a BIPA program; 3) develop the criteria for using quality BIPA teaching materials; 4) explore the role of culture in language teaching; 5) explore the benefit of information technology such as CD Rom, internet and e-mail; 6) facilitate international collaboration among BIPA practitioners.

The theme of the conference was ‘Teaching Indonesian Language and Culture in the Information Age: Quality, Image and Profile.” The conference topics included: curriculum development, teaching methodology, planning and development of teaching materials, language issues, cultural issues, and the role of information technology.

Because there were almost ninety different parallel sessions, in addition to seven plenary sessions, there won’t be enough room in this brief report to review all of these sessions. Only the sessions that were attended by the reviewers will be mentioned below.

Kesantunan berbahasa Indonesia dalam konteks masyarakat diglosik dan implikasinya bagi pembelajaran bahasa Indonesia bagi penutur asing
(Indonesian politeness in the context of a diglossic society and its implications in teaching Indonesian) 
by Drs Fathur Rokhman, M.Hum and Drs Abdurrahman Faridi, M.Pd.

The lecture started by giving an overview of some theories and maxims (tact maxim, generosity maxim, approbation maxim, modesty maxim, agreement maxim, and sympathy maxim). This was followed by a discussion of some lexical indicators of politeness in Indonesian (tolong, coba, and mohon), (silahkan, mari and ayo), and (harap, hendaknya, and seandainya). Following this was a discussion of politeness as indicated by intonation within the speech. Then there was a cost-benefit scale of politeness. The speaker concluded by saying that Indonesian politeness indicators must be taught to the Indonesian learners so that they can function well in the socio-cultural context of Indonesian society.

Memanfaatkan teknologi untuk belajar bahasa
(Using technology to learn language) 
by Fanny Ima Yuwanti

This paper was basically a case study of how Indonesian is taught at the Center for Language Studies at the National University of Singapore. Fanny’s handout states that computer technology is used to teach Indonesian at NUS. This paper explained how the course was laid out and what was covered in the course. Various exercises and interactive activities were demonstrated. Anyone interested could visit their website at

Belajar bahasa Indonesia dengan VCD karaoke/sinetron 
(Studying Indonesian by using Karaoke VCDs) 
by Arsianti IALF Bali

This was one of the most interesting lecturers of the entire conference. Arsianti demonstrated the use of VCD songs in language teaching. She demonstrated some ‘pre-listening exercises’ such as circling vocabulary words which ‘might’ be expected in the song based on the title of the song. Secondly, while listening to the song, she gave a sample ‘fill in the blank’ exercise that could be done by the students as they listened to the songs. She also gave examples of some ‘post listening discussion questions’. The lecture overall was very informational and it was encouraging to see how these new teaching techniques could be successfully used in the classroom.

Teaching culture through language 
by David Reeve, University of New South Wales

The theme of this lecture is that Indonesian culture can be taught through the teaching of the meanings of names and proverbs which emerge during the reading assignments. Reeve gave an outline of some ways of distinguishing Balinese names, Javanese names, Arabic names, Chinese or Indonesianized Chinese names, and Batak names. Within some of these categories, he further classified names according to birth order, caste system (i.e. Balinese names), day/month or event of birth. He also showed how aspects of nature could be reflected in names. The type of name knowledge discussed in this presentation is very helpful to the Indonesian language learner because it could help the language learner understand the cultural background of the characters in the story even if their cultural identity is not mentioned. 

Pengajaran bahasa Indonesia untuk pembelajar asing melalui cerita tradisi lisan
(Teaching Indonesian to foreigners through traditional 
oral stories) by Nani Pollard

This presentation introduced some teaching ideas we had not previously experienced. The presentation outlined the importance of traditional oral stories, cultural values and the benefits and weaknesses of traditional oral stories. Pollard used the following steps in teaching traditional oral stories: 1) allow the language learner to listen to the stories and then provide comprehension questions to ascertain how much of the story the learners could grasp, 2) provide class discussion questions, 3) provide vocabulary building exercises such as ‘find synonyms’, ‘find traditional sayings and give their meaning’ and ‘find idioms and give their meaning’, 4) use example sentences from the story to teach certain elements of grammar, 5) find traditional stories from their home culture or another foreign culture and comment on it giving the story’s moral, and finally 6) make an oral presentation in front of the class by making up or retelling a fairy tale of their choosing. A video clip of this last step was shown in this parallel session. The video was very captivating and showed that teaching Indonesian using these suggestions can provide a very interesting learning environment to the language learners.

Using modern tools to research Indonesian intonation patterns 
by Craig Soderberg

This session was presented in order to demonstrate the use of two software programs that could be potentially useful to Indonesian instructors. These two programs are Cool Edit and Speech Analyzer.  All the sound files used in the study were downloaded from the Northern Illinois University website ( Cool Edit was used to edit the sound files and Speech Analyzer was used to analyze the pitch and intonation patterns of the sound files. Certain intonation patterns associated with declarative, interrogative and imperative sentences were discovered and these patterns (as well as how to research these patterns) could be helpful to Indonesian language instructors. 

The application of contrastive analysis in teaching Indonesian to English speaking expatriates
 by S. Koencoro

This teaching technique could be helpful to beginning level Indonesian learners who are fluent in English because it uses the knowledge of English as a foundation for the teaching of certain Indonesian word patterns. For example the following English words (motivation, construction, observation, action, association) have a similar pattern in Indonesian (motivasi, konstruksi, observasi, aksi, asosiasi). Also, these English words (quality, facility, quantity, university) have a similar pattern in Indonesian (kualitas, fasilitas, kuantitas,  and universitas). The teacher could also show which words are exceptions to the pattern. For example, ‘ability’ does not become ‘abilitas’.

Hubungan subordinatif atributif sebagai bahan ajaran kemahiran berbicara BIPA tingkat lanjut 
(The attributive subordinative clause as a lesson in the advanced BIPA class) 
by Iyo Mulyono

The clausal head (yang) is optional in the following sentence: Itu buku yang merah. Another way to state this is that the previous sentence is just as acceptable to a native Indonesian speaker as the following: Itu buku merah. However for the following sentence, Saya mempunyai kamus bahasa Indonesia yang diterbitkan oleh Gramedia, the ‘yang’ is not optional. It must be present in order to be a well-formed cohesive sentence. Although we may have intuitively known this, we were never taught this and therefore felt that this could be a valuable aspect that should be taught in advanced Indonesian classes.

Mendayagunakan fungsi belahan otak kanan dalam pengajaran bahasa Indonesia 
(Using the right brain function in the teaching of Indonesian)
 by Marjam S. Budhisetiawan

This presentation is under girded by four basic assumptions: 1) the traditional teaching method overemphasizes mental ‘left-brained’ activities, 2) teaching materials and lessons are often boring, 3) expressive language is important in reaching communicative competence, and 4) there is a shortage of teaching materials (in Singapore) for teaching Indonesian. Although left-brained teaching focuses on logic and analysis, right-brained teaching focuses on creativity. This lecture presented some teaching ideas which demand more student creativity than the traditional question and answer approach. Students are given scenarios and asked to complete sentences using certain frameworks such as (…sambil…, …masih harus…, barangkali ada…. yang …., or tidah usah…., biar….). One example of such a scenario is a magic marker falls on the ground and the student must say, ‘Tidak usah, biar saya ambil sendiri. This type of teaching could be helpful in engaging students, especially those who are bored with traditional teaching approaches.

The courtship of language and culture 
by Dra. Ni Wayan P. Aryati 

This presentation emphasized the importance of understanding cultural differences in communication and the appropriate use of words. For instance, ‘Please’ in English can be used when we are offering something or making a request. However, ‘silahkan’, one corresponding word for ‘please’ cannot be used for making a request. Restaurant waiters may become confused when a novice Indonesian speaker asks for coffee by saying ‘silahkan kopi’. Also, when Indonesians meet a friend whom they haven’t seen for a long time, they might say ‘Aduh, gemuk sudah’. The novice Indonesian learner might think this means, ‘Wow, you look so fat’. However the Indonesian speaker intends the statement to be a compliment such as ‘You look so healthy and happy’. Indonesian teachers, therefore, should teach the secondary aspects of meaning for words and phrases such as these.

Aspek Budaya dalam Pengajaran Tata bahasa Indonesia Sebagai Bahasa Asing 
(Cultural aspects in the teaching of Indonesian as a foreign language)
 by Sally Pattinasarany

Indonesian grammar is one of the most difficult aspects in the teaching of Indonesian. This is especially true in the construction of passive sentences. This presentation revealed that there are some cultural aspects in the formation of passive sentences. For example, both of these two sentences are imperatives although they have the ‘look’ of a passive sentence. This sentence formation strategy de-emphasizes the actor as a type of politeness strategy.

(a) Dilarang merokok! 
(b) Silakan dimakan! 

Also the following two sentences are passive:
(a) Suaranya kedengaran sampai di  sini 
(b) Suaranya terdengar sampai di sini. 

But the difference is that (a) uses non-formal speech while (b) uses formal speech. Indonesian teachers should teach both formal and non-formal Indonesian so that students can understand the non-formal Indonesian that they hear ‘on the streets’.

Jalan-jalan di Indonesia
by Serena Ruiz 

This presentation demonstrated the use of a CD Rom for distance education Indonesian language learning. It showed journal activities, planning a travel schedule, booking a plane ticket, checking into a hotel, packing bags, writing postcards, summarizing the destinations, etc. This seemed to be an Indonesian language learning strategy that could hold student interest as well. 

1) The Fourth International Conference on Teaching Indonesian to Speakers of Other Languages (KIPBIPA IV) was held on 1-3 October 2001 in Bali.

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