NOTE: Due to the corona virus, AIAV's language classes have been suspended until further notice. 
We are planning to offer online "virtual" classes in the coming weeks. 
To register your interest, please email us using this form

Indonesian Language Classes: Hawthorn

Welcome to Melbourne's longest-running classes in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language) for adults!

As part of our mission to promote friendship between Indonesia and Australia, AIAV has been running weekly language classes for more than 50 years! Our teachers have a wealth of experience and are passionate about helping you to learn the language and explore the culture of Indonesia. So ...
Ayo, ikutlah! (Come on, let's get started!)

When: Weekly on Tuesday evenings from 6.30 to 8.30 pm (with a 15-minute break) during school terms (see dates)

Where: University of Melbourne campus, Auburn Road, Hawthorn

Levels: Depending on enrolments we run five or six levels, from beginner to advanced 

Content: Most levels use a textbook, but this is supplemented with other activities and materials including role-plays, media articles, films, poetry and songs


Take this quick online quiz to get an idea of which level is most appropriate for you, or see the learning content in each level below.

We will do our best to put you in the most appropriate class, but feel free to speak to your teacher if you think you should move up or down a level.

Elementary 1A & 1B (2 terms)

If you want to learn some basic Indonesian before going on a trip, want to start learning the language with a view to becoming fluent, or need to brush the rust off the bahasa you learnt back in high school, this level is for you! Intake is twice a year, in February and July, so that you can progress smoothly into Elementary 2 if you wish.

Elementary 1A (first term) gets you started in Indonesian. You will learn the basics, including:

  • The Indonesian alphabet and pronunciation
  • Common greetings
  • Introducing yourself (kenalkan)
  • Terms of address
  • Pronouns
  • Numbers
  • Family
  • Parts of the body and illnesses
  • Asking and telling the time (jam berapa?)
  • Shopping (di pasar)
  • Lost belongings

Textbook: No textbook is required. Handouts are provided. 

Elementary 1B (second term) builds on the first term and introduces some basic Indonesian grammar. (Don't worry, it's much simpler than English!)

Textbook: Indonesian Grammar in Context 1, Chapter 1.  

You will learn about:

  • The city of Yogyakarta
  • Word order in basic Indonesian sentences
  • Saying where you are from and where you live
  • Describing your work and study
  • Expressing negative statements (tidak)
  • Asking yes/no questions (apa)
  • More on terms of address (Anda, Bu, Pak)
  • Asking questions involving numbers (berapa)
  • Asking and answering questions using ada and tidak ada

Elementary 2 (2 terms)

If you already have some familiarity with Indonesian or have completed Elementary 1, this is your level. English is still the main language of instruction, but you will be encouraged to speak in Indonesian whenever possible. 

Textbook: Indonesian Grammar in Context 1, Chapters 2 & 3 plus supplementary material.

You will learn about:

  • The names of common items
  • Talking about possessions (my, your, his/her)
  • Expressing negatives using bukan
  • Using the pronouns saya, Anda, dia, mereka, kita and kami
  • Talking about family members
  • Numbers from 10 to 1000
  • The names of the months
  • Asking and answering questions using birth dates, ages and addresses
  • Talking about places using di, ke and dari
  • Describing your daily routine and activities
  • More question words: siapa, di mana, dari mana, ke mana, kapan, apa and berapa
  • Talking about actions using sudah and belum

Elementary 3 (4 terms)

At this level you get to grips with some of the key grammar of Indonesian, such as a common ways that verbs are formed and how to refer to the past. You'll be surprised how quickly you get the hang of it! You'll be able to have short conversations in Indonesian, mostly getting it right! You'll also learn about aspects of Indonesian daily life and culture. 

Textbook: Indonesian Grammar in Context 1, Chapters 4, 5 & 6 plus supplementary material.

You will learn about:

  • The sacred burial site of Imogiri in Yogyakarta
  • Employing a helper (tukang kebun)
  • Life in the village (di desa)
  • The Selamatan celebration
  • Verbs with the me- and ber- prefixes
  • Talking about recent events using baru, sudah, belum, masih and tidak lagi 
  • Getting more specific about time
  • More Indonesian greetings
  • Using -nya to talk about something that's already been mentioned
  • Describing houses and locations
  • Doubled verbs such as jalan-jalan
  • The seasons, the weather and the months of the year
  • Forms of transport
  • Nouns with the suffix -an 
  • Using harus ('have to') and tidak usah
  • Using yang to describe things and combine sentences
  • Colours and tastes
  • Talking about time using tadi, nanti and dulu

Intermediate 1 (4 terms)

Welcome to Intermediate! By now you have the fundamentals under control and you are able to have conversations in Indonesian on  a range of topics. Now you can broaden your vocabulary and add more complexity, as well as learning more about life in Indonesia. Instruction is increasingly in Indonesian with explanation in English as required.

Textbook: Indonesian Grammar in Context 2, Chapters 1, 2 & 3 plus supplementary material.

You will learn about:

  • Travelling to Bali
  • Balinese culture, including upacara potong gigi
  • Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city

  • More about forming me- verbs

  • Using -nya to comment on a topic

  • Nouns with the pe- prefix

  • Talking about body parts and clothing

  • Using sesudah and sebelum to refer to time

  • Transitive and intransitive verbs 

  • Describing experiences

  • Using pernah to talk about places you've been and things you've seen

  • Using yang to mean 'the one who ...'

  • Shopping centres

  • Using the passive voice, including di-

Intermediate 2 (4 terms)

This class builds on Intermediate 1, so you will add to your growing knowledge of Indonesian words, idioms and constructions. You will be reading, writing and speaking in more complex sentences and learning more about Indonesia along the way. Instruction is increasingly in Indonesian with explanation in English as required.

Textbook: Indonesian Grammar in Context 2, Chapters 4, 5 & 6 plus supplementary material.

You will learn about:

  • The important events of Ramadan and Lebaran
  • Pulang kampung (returning to the hometown)
  • Tana Toraja in Sulawesi
  • Orangutan rehabilitation in Kalimantan
  • Connecting ideas using kalau and sebaiknya

  • Connecting ideas using sesudah, sebelum, tetapi, karena and jadi 

  • Giving advice

  • Qualifying statements using sebenarnya 

  • Expressing a conclusion using kalau begitu

  • Describing the frequency of events using selalu, sering, biasanya and jarang

  • Verbs with the suffix -kan

  • Comparisons using lebih . . . dari(pada), paling, se- and tidak se-

  • Talking about when you were young

  • Using yang lalu, lagi, nanti and yang akan datang to describe sequences of events

  • Using doubled adverbs such as cepat-cepat

  • Forming adverbs formed with dengan + adjective

  • More with -kan verbs!

Advanced (ongoing)

Welcome to the 'big league'! The Advanced class is for people who already have a good standard of Indonesian and wish to maintain or improve on it. It's assumed that you already have a broad vocabulary and are familiar with the points of grammar listed above in Elementary and Intermediate levels. However, more advanced aspects of grammar are included as revision at this level. Classes are conducted almost entirely in Indonesian.

No textbook is used in the Advanced class. Instead, each term covers a number of topics, which may include Indonesian current affairs, political, social and economic issues, films, short stories, poetry and popular music, with discussion in Indonesian. Print and video material is provided by the teacher. Teachers may be rotated through the class each term to provide a range of voices and perspectives. 

Term dates

Classes follow Victorian school term dates. Dates for 2020 are listed below:

 Term Number of sessions Start date  End date 
 Term 1  8 sessions  4 February  24 March
 Term 2  8 sessions  21 April
 9 June
 Term 3  8 sessions  21 July  8 September
 Term 4  8 sessions*  13 October  8 December

*No class Melbourne Cup Day, 3 November


Language class participants must enrol and pay class fees before the start of term. All participants are required to be members of AIAV. Other attractions of membership include monthly conversation evenings (malam ngobrol), talks, dinners, and the bi-monthly AIAV News. If you have not joined yet, you can click here to do so.  

An earlybird discount of 10% is available to participants who pay in advance for a full term at least 10 days before the commencement of classes.

Sorry, but we can't accept payment in instalments or week-by-week. Full and discount rates for 2020 are shown below.

 Term  Number of sessions  Full rate  Earlybird rate
(10% discount)
 Term 1  8 sessions  $280.00  $252.00
 Term 2  8 sessions  $280.00  $252.00
 Term 3  8 sessions  $280.00  $252.00
 Term 4  8 sessions  $280.00  $252.00

Refunds: If you can't make it to a class, please contact us to ask about a credit for the following term. We can't give you a cash refund.  


Except for the Elementary 1A and Advanced levels, all classes use one of two textbooks:

Indonesian Grammar in Context 1   Indonesian Grammar in Context 2

AIAV may have copies for sale. Alternatively you can buy these books online. Some options are given below.


The venue for the classes is:

The University of Melbourne Hawthorn Campus
442 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122 (Melway 59 E2)
(Enter from Woodburn Road)

Enter via the ramp on Woodburn Road. On the first week of term, meet in the foyer before 6:30 pm and we will show you to the classrooms, which are on the next level (elevator available). Classes are generally held in rooms 2103, 2104, 2105, 2108 and 2110 and 2113.

Coming by car: If you're coming on Citylink (Monash Freeway), take the Toorak Road exit. Parking is available on the street in Woodburn Road or in the car park off Robinson Road.

Coming by public transport: Take the 624 bus from Auburn Station or Riversdale Road trams and get off at Wiseman Street.

Immersion Courses

AIAV also runs immersion language courses for adults and secondary school students, based in Indonesia. For more information see the Immersion Courses page.


For inquiries about language classes, please contact

The following details may be used for written correspondence to the AIAV.  To submit an immediate web inquiry, you can email us on the addresses below or use the Contact Us page to submit a web inquiry:

PO Box 527
Carlton South  VIC 3053
Australia |

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