Just last month, I popped by Surabaya (Indonesia’s 2nd largest city, after Jakarta) to catch up with a friend, and attend a traditional Javanese wedding. It made me fall in love with Bahasa Indonesia again – it’s pretty easy to pick up, especially if you’re familiar with a bit of the Malay language in the first place. Also, it uses the Roman alphabet so you don’t have to memorize new strokes / letters as when you’re learning Japanese or Tamil. If you want my recommendation for a good place to learn Bahasa Indonesia while in Singapore, I’d direct you to Indo Slang, which is located just a stone’s throw away from Chinatown MRT station. The location is perfect. (And it’s close to my favorite egg tart store too :D)
* Happy Indo Slang students *
Indo Slang is under the Crystal Learning group, which also has Yi Mandarin and English Express. The company is well-loved by its students, many of whom are expats. Occupying the 2nd and 3rd levels of 7A Trengganu Street in the heart of Chinatown, it’s really accessible and you may even have unknowingly walked past the school when you visited Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festivities! 😀
And oh… Indo Slang is thus named because it is a Bahasia Indonesia School of Language. And yes, you can definitely learn some slang in class too! 🙂
Here are 5 reasons why I’d recommend Indo Slang:
#1: Conducive Environment for Learning
* the cozy reception area *
All students are welcome to hang around here, even after class. There’s coffee, snacks, magazines, books, even candy! 😀 And oh… free wifi! LOL!
And here’s the classroom I was in on Wednesday:
Yup! Where the pink bottle is is where I was seated. I love how the rooms are kept clean, and there’s very little clutter. There are also motivational posters on the walls. However, once you’re in class, you’re in the zone for learning, with very few distractions. I like that there are windows to allow some sunlight to come in, and also for ventilation. During lessons, the classrooms are fully air-conditioned.
As you can already tell, class sizes are kept really small. Apart from the teacher’s chair, there are only 7 other seats. This means you get to interact with the teacher, ask as many questions as you can, clarify all doubts, and learn as much as you can! 🙂
#2: Quality of Teaching Materials
The folder that every student gets contains all the lesson notes and some very useful tips. For instance, I’ve taken a quick crash course in Bahasa Indonesia elsewhere in the past and I had to manually take down notes on how the alphabet is pronounced. Take the letter ‘A’ – it’s pronounced “ah” in Indonesian. And the notes from Indo Slang clearly reflect that. (A = ah, B = bay, C = che, etc) This is extremely useful for revision! Sometimes my own notes are illegible and I can hardly figure out what I’ve written. So it’s good that the ‘textbook’ already has it all spelt out for me.
It really helps if you do your revision, and even some reading ahead, before the class. *wink*
#3: Friendly Teacher
Spot Candy, the sole Indonesian teacher at Indo Slang at the moment, in the picture below. 😀
She was born in Surabaya, so I cannot help but gush (to her) about how awesome her hometown is. And she has a brilliant smile, is patient, and you can tell she enjoys teaching students, especially those who *ahem* are like me – passionate about the (awesome) food in Surabaya and happy to learn the language. 😀
#4: Pace Of Lesson
To complete all 10 units in the coursebook, it’ll take 20 hours. So it’s 2 hours per unit, and will give students a very solid foundation, for sure. By the end of the second lesson, you’ll be able to construct at least 5 sentences to introduce yourself to any Indonesian. Isn’t that cool?
Also, Candy has a way of making lessons interesting, such as by showing students things outside of the syllabus. In this picture you see above, there is a garuda (Indonesia’s national symbol). I didn’t know this till she shared it with me: Indonesia’s independence day is on 17th August 1945 so… if you’ll count the number of feathers on each wing, you’ll find 17 of them. And there are 8 tail feathers to represent the 8th month of the year (August), and 45 little feathers(?) at the neck area. So now it’s pretty hard to forget the date, eh? 😉
* You can also sign up for a private class for 1-on-1 tutoring *
#5: Convenient Location & Reasonable Fees
Students can also pop by these attractions which are all within short walking distance: Singapore Heritage Centre, Chinatown Visitor’s Centre, Sri Mariamman Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, and Chinatown Food Street.
And my favorite egg tart store is Tong Heng Confectionary, which is just across the road from Sri Maraimman Temple. Hehe! 🙂 Nothing delights me more than an afternoon of learning and snacking.
To register for classes, head over to Indo Slang’s website. It costs S$400 (just S$20 per hour) for 10 lessons. And the best part is that you get a native speaker teaching you! Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis so do sign up early for 2016. 🙂
Visit Indo Slang’s website here for more details: http://www.indoslang.com.sg/
*Some images in this post are my own while others are courtesy of Crystal Learning*