How to Improve Your Indonesian Listening Skills

Improve Your Indonesian Listening Skill

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“I want to learn conversational Indonesian, not textbook Indonesian,” said many of our students.

We get it. You want to learn practical Indonesian. Yes, you can probably put writing skill into your lesser priority, but definitely not listening skill.

Without a good Indonesian listening skill, you pretty much can’t communicate with the native speakers because: if you are not able to understand what native speakers are saying, two-ways communication is impossible to happen.

So if you have any of these problems:

  • You can’t understand native speakers.
  • You find it difficult to improve your listening.
  • You don’t have time to improve your listening skills.

Continue to read this article.

Fortunately there is a simple fix to these problems: you MUST listen to enough Indonesian.

Doesn’t it make sense? If you spend 100 hours listening to Indonesian, your listening will definitely improve.

To make your listening practice effective, here are some ways we’d like to recommend you (in no particular order):

(A) Watch Indonesian TV Shows / Series

Watching Indonesian TV Shows / Series is a great way to make your listening practice fun. As a learner you will feel more connected from the reality of the language you’re learning with this approach.

TV Shows / TV Series usually has many episodes, and this is a wonderful strategy to cultivate the power of daily learning habit. Making a daily habit out of watching TV shows or series can be one of the most impactful and enriching things you can do to develop true lifelong fluency. Let’s say each episode is 30 minutes long, and there are 20 episodes total. To put that into perspective, that is 600 minutes or 10 hours of authentic, real life learning experience.

If you’d like to know our recommendations for best TV Shows to watch to learn Indonesian, click the link below.

Best TV Shows to Watch to Learn Indonesian

(B) Watch Indonesian Movies

Movies are typically longer in duration as compared to TV Shows / Series, but they are generally more culturally enriching. We understand that it’s nearly impossible to slot in a 2-3 hours to watch movies everyday, but occasionally, this is a great approach to develop high levels of cultural fluency. Watching movies gives you a glimpse of authentic cultural experiences with the spoken language. Apart from spending time with native speakers, the other effective way for you to gain cultural fluency is by watching movie. So even though you are a busy person, make time once a month at least to watch Indonesian movie if you can.

If you are still a beginner, watching Indonesian movies right away can be intimidating as you don’t know much vocabulary words in the first place. So as a start you can turn on the subtitles in your native language, and then after a few seasons, try to replace the subtitles with Indonesian subtitles. Get used to hearing spoken Indonesian often is also an important step.

8 Indonesian Movies to Watch for Indonesian Language Learners

(C) Listen to Indonesian Songs with Lyrics

Thank God for Youtube! There are SO many Indonesian songs you can listen to for free on Youtube. With all the lyrics plastered on the screen, you can easily follow them along. This is a great method to practice your listening and pronunciation. Definitely try to translate the lyrics as well into your native language so you know what the song is all about, and be able to connect emotionally with the words uttered in the song.

If you don’t know which Indonesian song to pick for your listening practice, here is a Youtube link to 11 popular Indonesian pop songs to get started.

(D) Take Indonesian Listening Practice

If you have tried all 3 approaches mentioned above and yet you still struggle because you feel you don’t have enough foundation to understand rather complex sentences, consider to do a simpler, more basic Indonesian listening practice.

How to do just that?

Enrol in our Indonesian Listening Comprehension program. This program is a self-paced online course. Ideally we’d recommend you to spare 15 minutes a day to practice your Indonesian listening. This program is perfect for beginner who is still building their vocabulary range.

This listening practice is structured as such to help you understand familiar words and basic phrases when people speak slowly and clearly. There will be vocabulary review at the beginning and also at the end of each video.

Each video has 2 parts. The first one is without subtitles. The second part has both subtitles in Indonesian and also translations in English.

This online program has a drip function, so after you completed the first 5 listening comprehension lessons, the next 5 will be automatically unlocked, and so on. It’s to keep you staying focused on each lesson, because the topic and difficulty level is built upon each other, so it is important for you to follow through the given framework. Each listening practice will have a vocabulary note section and also a quiz.

If you’d like to see the sample of listening practice video in our Indonesian Listening Online Program (minus the vocabulary note section and the quiz), you can check out these 2 lesson videos below:



If you are interested to enroll in our Indonesian Listening Comprehension Course, click here to register:

As you see, there are many ways to practice and improve your listening skills, each with its own strengths. It’s important to mix and match your approach so that you’ll get the best results.

Know someone else who’s looking to improve their Indonesian listening skill? Help us to share this article with that person.

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