Report by Arif Maulana
Translation by Alifya Rofi
[unpad.ac.id, 15/9/2020] The Indonesian Language Program for Foreign Speakers or BIPA, Language Center, Unpad Faculty of Cultural Sciences (FIB), has opened virtual language learning classes for foreigners. The opening of this course was done in an effort to continue to internationalize the Indonesian language in the midst of limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coordinator of BIPA Language Center Unpad, Dr. Muhammad Adji, M.Hum., explained that the COVID-19 pandemic that hit Indonesia affected Unpad BIPA learning from running as usual. Practically, the BIPA Unpad regular class could not be implemented following the closure of access for foreigners to Indonesia.
“The BIPA class collaborates well with the government through the Darmasiswa program and the KNB (Partnership for Developing Countries) through the Unpad International Office, which will be reopened by the Indonesian government in the middle of next year,” said Adji, Monday (14/9).
Considering that the BIPA learning process is mandated by the law, BIPA Unpad continues to make efforts to revive these activities. Therefore, Adji and the BIPA Unpad team opened registration for Indonesian short courses targeting foreigners. Interestingly, this course is free.
The virtual method is chosen so that this class could be followed by participants from various parts of the world. “We want foreigners to be able to learn Indonesian even though they are in their own countries,” said Adji.
Unpad Indonesian Literature Study Program lecturer, said that BIPA Unpad online classes are made in the form of short courses tailored to the competence of learners. This online class will be made into three levels, namely the beginner level, the intermediate level, and the advanced level.
The material provided includes a number of materials about Indonesian language, such as grammar, enrichment of vocabulary, specific linguistic styles, and Indonesian culture. Course instructors are regular teaching staff of the Unpad Language Center, BIPA Program.
This online class targets foreigners from any country, and it is open to alumni of BIPA Unpad and those who have never studied Indonesian at all.
The teaching mechanism is synchronous, using the Zoom or Google Meet teleconferencing application facilities. BIPA Unpad will also make BIPA learning videos so that they can be accessed by students, anytime and anywhere.
Adji said the opening class for Indonesian language learning is planned to be held in the fourth week of September 2020. The online class itself will be held from early October 2020.
“Alhamdulillah, until now the response we have received from foreigners to this online class is positive,” he said.
This online class is expected to increase the interest of foreigners to learn Indonesian. The convenience of online media makes online classes accessible to foreigners from all over the world.
In addition to keeping BIPA activities alive, this program is expected to become one of the BIPA learning models in the future. “Foreigners do not have to come to Unpad to study BIPA, but can access BIPA lessons and be registered as Unpad students,” said Adji.
Registration for BIPA Unpad online classes can be done by filling in the form on the link here.
Contacted separately, Dean of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences Unpad, Yuyu Yohana Risagarniwa, Ph.D., welcomed BIPA Unpad’s efforts in opening online classes. He is optimistic that this program will attract many foreigners from various countries. Moreover, currently, Indonesian has been taught in more than 40 countries.
“This is an opportunity to support Indonesian to become an international language,” said Yuyu.
This opportunity is supported by the facilities and human resources. The presence of the BIPA Unpad program at the FIB Unpad Language Center, coupled with competent teachers, will provide added value to this online class.
The lecturer who has taught Indonesian in Japan for 4 years said that the FIB Unpad Language Center BIPA program has received many foreign students from various countries through the Darmasiswa program or other student exchange programs.
Although BIPA’s regular class activities were hampered by the pandemic, FIB Unpad still opens opportunities to be able to hold Indonesian language classes by utilizing information technology.
“Whether there is a pandemic or not, we (Unpad) actually have to be ready with (online) programs like this,” said Yuyu.
In the future, the lecturer at Unpad Japanese Literature Study Program also plans to open a similar online class for learning other languages, one of which is Sundanese. “It is very possible that later, Sundanese language can also be empowered,” he said.*
You can read the original article in Indonesian here: