Bahasa Indonesia is currently taught in 81 South Australian government schools in South Australia. This equates to approximately 12,000 students from Reception – Year 12 learning the language of Indonesia, Australia’s closest Asian neighbour.

By adopting the Australian Curriculum the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) affirms that languages education should be made accessible to all Australian students and as a result the number of students learning Indonesian language in South Australia is set to increase in 2017 and beyond as more schools choose this as their preferred whole-school focused language program.

Language learning is an evolving and ongoing process which cannot happen in isolation from other parts of the curriculum. It is through the skill and expertise of over 100 Indonesian language teachers in South Australian government schools that Indonesian language learning is brought to life.

Students are able to continue their development towards language proficiency while exploring the rich diversity of Indonesian culture. Students increase their understanding of Indonesia as a country, and role of its national language, by developing cultural awareness while growing their linguistic capability. This happens through exposure to aspects of the performing, moving and visual arts, social issues, religion, cuisine, historical events, knowledge of government, tourism, finance, environment and the diversity of contrasting ethnic groups, just to name a few.

DECD ensures there is a learning pathway for all language students and views that language can and should be learned as part of a continuum from Reception to Year 12 and beyond. Should a school not be offering a student’s language of choice, such as Indonesian, alternative curriculum choice options are available to all DECD students including studying Indonesian through the School of Languages or via distance education mode with Open Access College.

In 2015, 48 of our most senior DECD students studied Indonesian language to Year 12 level, with 8 of these students achieving an A grade or better as part of their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

Since 2013, 16 South Australian government schools have strengthened links with Indonesia through the establishment of E-Languages Sister School Partnerships. This is achieved through linking DECD schools with Indonesian schools and their communities. The aim of these partnerships is to establishing authentic digital interaction in Indonesian between the students while developing intra-cultural and inter-cultural understandings. Partnerships are established with a view to sustaining a long-term relationship between the two schools through the innovative use of digital technology. Benefits to students include improved knowledge and first-hand experience of a culture different from their own. Teachers in turn are able to share pedagogy and curriculum, strengthen language proficiency, increase professional learning through the exchange of knowledge and ideas and expand educational horizons by adding global perspectives.

Indonesian language continues to thrive in our schools and with the creative and devoted guidance of our Indonesian language teachers, DECD is again a proud sponsor of the Indofest Schools Program for 2016.