Find the Indonesian Oral Proficiency Guidelines here.

Please note that the Oral Proficiency content and opinions on this website are solely those of the Southeast Asian Language Council’s (SEALC) and not those of ACTFL. ACTFL does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of the information provided.

Novice High

When asked about the neighborhood, what can be found around her house, the interviewee is able to respond but in halted speech. She confuses “kita” (inclusive we) for “kami” (exclusive we), and “ruangkopi” for “warungkopi.” The interviewer has to repeat, reformulate, and simplify the question 4 times before the interviewee finally can give an appropriate response to the question about her daily activities. The response is in halted speech containing discrete words or phrases. The interviewee continues to confuse “kita” (inclusive we) for “kami” (exclusive we) and mispronounces “dan” (dæn). For the above reasons, this speaker is at a Novice – High level of Indonesian.

Intermediate Mid

The interviewee is able to respond to questions and is able to ask questions to obtain simple information, such as “Apa Anda punya anjing atau kucing (Do you have a dog or cat)?” As a response to a direct question (a description of the interviewee’s apartment), the interviewee is able to describe in strings of simple sentences mostly using “ada” (there is/there are) familiar items to see in the apartment and their specific locations. The sentences, though, lack cohesiveness due to very little of use of connectors or nuance due to lack of adjectives. Some pronunciations are still influenced by her first language, but the words are understandable by sympathetic interlocutors familiar with non-natives. Finally, the interviewee is able to interact communicatively in a given situation. Yet, when questions are asked at regular speed as normally asked in real life, misunderstanding occurs as the interviewee struggles to understand the question. Later, after the question is slowed down and simplified to “Yes/No” format, the response becomes appropriate. For the above reasons, this speaker is at an Intermediate Mid level of Indonesian.

Advanced Mid

The interviewee was able to respond to the following question and demonstrate narration of past, present, or future events, even though the answer was slightly circular in the beginning, “You mentioned that you had visited Singapore. Can you tell me about one forgettable experience while you were there?” He performs at paragraph level, yet a couple of his idioms are unfamiliarly utilized in Indonesian, such as “saya yang lebih sehat di Singapura, pasti,” even though he uses specialized vocabulary such as “dampak,” “perilaku,” and “melindungi.” The interviewee then performs comfortably at paragraph level in response to the following question, “You said now you are starting to begin in-person classes and are very happy. Probably you can explain why you are so happy having in-person classes instead of online?” In his response, he uses appropriate vocabulary such as “pasti” (of course), “daring,” “jangka panjang.” He utilizes connecting words or phrases adequately, such as “kalau,” “selain itu,” “contohnya,” “jadi.” His speech is more casual than standard, such as the use of ‘ya’ as an ending particle in sentences. Finally, the interviewee successfully provides accident details and handles an unexpected, complicated situation in the role-play. A couple of idioms are used awkwardly but are understandable, such as “ban dirusak (rusak),” “di minggu depan,” “lihat lebih dekat.” For the above reasons, this speaker is at an Advanced Mid level of Indonesian.


Based on his previous response where the interviewee addresses gender roles, the interviewer decides to use the topic of gender equality for a triple punch. The interviewee’s answer to the question,“ In your opinion, can we say that gender equality exists in American or Indonesian societies nowadays? Or is it still far from reality?” although rather short, satisfies the question. It still consists of two connected paragraphs, is delivered fluently, and contains abstract description as well. The interviewee continues on to give a solid Superior response to the question, “What arguments can be presented to Indonesian people and government so that they truly support gender equality?” in connected paragraphs, with a clear intro, body, and conclusion showing his ability to support an argument. Some special vocab he uses includes “pemeluk agama” and “bernafaskan Islam”, and “sholeh.” Finally, the interviewee demonstrates his ability to hypothesize in response to the question, “Let’s hypothesize: if there were true gender equality, say in Indonesia or somewhere else, what changes would be found in that society?” The interviewee describes the topic abstractly, in 3 connected paragraphs, with clear discourse markers “yang pertama,” “selain itu,” “dari perspektif satu lagi,” and “jadi” (to conclude). Some special vocab he uses includes “memegang keuangan sendiri,” “insyaAllah.” The interviewee uses some English terms, which native speakers of Indonesian themselves will most probably also use: leveling off, pay gap, and glass ceiling. For the above reasons, this speaker is at a Superior level of Indonesian.

Find the Indonesian Heritage & Project-Based Language Learning lesson here. This lesson is also available on the UCLA National Heritage Language Resource Center website. For more information on this initiative, click here.