Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

John C. Crawford


Of the language learning materials which already exist on Indonesian, the language of nearly one hundred million people in Malaysia and the Republic of Indonesia, none is particularly suited for fieldworkers--that is, whose whose interest in the language is more practical than academic, whose intent is to live and work in Indonesia for an extended period of time. Fieldworkers need to develop the communicational skills of listening and speaking over those of reading and writing. They also need to learn the speech level which is most appropriate for foreigners. In Indonesia this is a formal language style, one which shows respect and honor to the one being addressed; it is the style used among educated Indonesians. Because most of the existing Indonesian courses concentrate on reading and writing along with speech and listening and/or present on a colloquial language level, this thesis was undertaken to provide a course designed to meet the specific needs of the fieldworker.

Modern descriptive linguistics has provided us with a greater understanding of language--how one acquires his first language, how to compare two languages by means of contrastive analysis, the relationship between language and culture, etc. The result is that language learning methods have evolved away from the grammar-translation method, as applied to classical Greek and Latin texts, to the direct method, which gave the students complete and constant exposure to the language being learned, to the modern methods, which, though varying in their individual emphases, all utilize listening, mimicry and memorization more than translation as learning techniques.

These techniques have been incorporated into this course in some distinctive ways. Students will not be handed meanings of vocabulary items, but must learn them from contextual usage. Neither will they be allowed to depend on their eyes for understanding, for they will not even see the dialogues and drills until after they have rehearsed them. Both in terms of vocabulary and grammar, this course restricts the quantity of material presented, avoiding synonyms, alternate constructions, etc., in order to enable the student to learn only what is essential and to learn that thoroughly.

The proposed course consists of forty language lessons, designed to be used intensively in an eight-week period and taught by an instructor acquainted with linguistics and at least one native language speaker. Each lesson contains two dialogues on culturally-relevant topics, which are to be memorized; a lecture dealing with new linguistic and cultural material presented in the dialogues; pattern drills, in which the students overlearn new forms and structures; and a free conversation, which gives the students opportunity to synthesize in a simulated real situation all they've learned.

The first three lessons were tested on a class of seventeen students in June, 1976. These lessons were then evaluated by the students for both strengths and weaknesses. Following my own evaluation, the paper concludes with a few proposed changes in and additions to the thirty-seven remaining unrevised language lessons, which follow the text of the paper as an appendix.

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