Combining instruction and immersion to improve pronunciation: The case of Chinese students learning bahasa Indonesia

Suroso Suroso, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Emi Nursanti, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Nan Wang, Qujing Normal University, China


In pronunciation classes, most teachers over-emphasize the accuracy part and ignore the fluency aspects (Elliot, 1995; Yoshida, 2016). To enhance both accuracy and fluency for Chinese students’ pronunciation in Bahasa Indonesia (BI), this study investigates the effects of combining instruction and immersion. This was classroom action research conducted for one semester at Qujing Normal University (QJNU), Yunnan Sheng, China. Audiolingual Method (ALM) with drilling technique was the instruction procedure while the outdoor project was the technique in the immersion. The research subjects were nine first-semester students in the Indonesian Language Department of QJNU. Their score improvements from the pre- to post-assessments indicate that combining these two methods is effective in enhancing students’ pronunciation in BI. The instruction conducted through explicit phonetic teaching and drilling is appropriate for habituating them with accurate pronunciation. Meanwhile, the fun and enjoyable immersion in contextual settings boosts their fluency and gives them opportunities to explore and practice using the words they have learned in real contexts. Along with pronunciation improvement, enhancement in students’ learning attitude and engagement in the learning activities are the other benefits that may contribute to their success in gaining full fluency in the second language.


Keywords: drilling, immersion, pronunciation, Chinese students, BIPA



drilling, immersion, pronunciation, Chinese students, BIPA

Full Text:



Afria, R. (2020). Potensi Bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa internasional. Zona Lingua. 28 October. Retrieved from

Aguskin, L. C., & Maryani, M. (2018). Exploring the International Students’ Perceptions of the Indonesian Teaching Materials to Enhance Their Willingness to Communicate. Lingua Cultura, 12(4), 323-331.

Alfin, J. (2015). Indonesian-Malay language, Asean Economic Community, and academic lingua franca. In Rainani, S. K. Aljuneid, M. Z. Awang Mat & J. Cooper (Eds.). Proceeding International Conference of Islamic Education: Reforms, Prospects and Challenges (pp. 51-56). Malang: Dream Litera.

Bardovi-Harlig, K. & Sprouse, R. A. (2018). Negative versus positive transfer. In Liontas, J. I. (Ed.). The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Bélanger, P. (2011). Three main learning theories. In Bélanger, P. (Ed.). Theories in Adult Learning and Education (pp. 17-34). Farmington Hills: Verlag Barbara Budrich. doi:10.2307/j.ctvbkjx77.6.

Birdsong, D., & Molis, M. (2001). On the evidence for maturational effects in second language acquisition, Journal of Memory and Language, 44, 235-249.

Bodnar, E. (2019). The Immersion Method: How to learn any language to fluency the fun and easy way (4th Ed.). Eric Bodnar.

Burns, A. (2010). Doing Action Research in English Language Teaching: A guide for practitioners. New York: Routledge.

Chaer, A. (2015). Fonologi Bahasa Indonesia. Jakarta: Rineka Cipta.

Chen, T. Y., & Chang, G. B. Y. (2004). The relationship between foreign language anxiety and learning difficulties. Foreign Language Annals, 37, 279–290.

Chidiebere, E. E. (2018). Investigating China and United States students cultural learning beliefs: Focus on habits and time factor. Open Access Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 1(2), 27-33.

Duanmu, S. (2007). The Phonology of Standard Chinese (2nd Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Effendi, T. D. (2016). Bahasa Indonesia diplomacy and other country language diplomacy experiences. Global Journal of Politics and Law Research, 4(3), 21-28.

Elliot, A. R. (1995). Field independence/dependence, hemispheric specialization, and attitude in relation to pronunciation accuracy in Spanish as a foreign language. The Modern Language Journal, 79(iii), 356-371.

Eng, S. (2012). Standard Mandarin Chinese: as an accent. Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) Conference, 1–6. York University.

Ferrance, E. (2000). Action Research: Themes in education. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University.

Fields, V. (1991). An investigation into factors affecting academic success associated with on-campus and off-campus living experiences for African-American undergraduate students at Iowa State University. Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 9641.

First People’s Cultural Council. (2016). Language and Culture Immersion Programs Handbook. First People’s Heritage, Language & Culture Council

Ghasemi, B. & Hashemi, M. (2011). Foreign language learning during childhood. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 28(2011), 872-876.

Gilakjani, A., Ahmadi, S., & Ahmadi, M. (2011). Why is pronunciation so difficult to learn? English Language Teaching, 4(3), 74–83.

Gilakjani, A. P. (2012). Goals of English pronunciation instruction. International Journal of Language Teaching and Research. 1(1), 4-8.

Hamid, A. (2018). Bahasa, Sastra dan Budaya dalam Pengajaran BIPA. Yogyakarta: Arti Bumi Intaran.

Han, F. (2013). Pronunciation problems of Chinese learners of English. Ortesol, 30, 26–30.

Haryanto, E., & Riswanto. (2012). Improving students’ pronunciation through communicative drilling technique at Senior High School (SMA) 07 South Bengkulu, Indonesia. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(21), 82–87.

Hasanah, U., & Dahniar. (2017). Teaching English pronunciation by using audiolingual method: A study at SMPN 2 Campalagian in Polman Regency. ETERNAL (English, Teaching, Learning and Research Journal), 3(1), 87–96.

Hidayati, K. H. (2016). Using audio lingual method to improve students pronunciation ability of Darul Mahdiah Private School. Journal of English Language, Literature, and Teaching, 1(1), 25–34.

Huang, H.-L., & Radant, J. (2009). Chinese phonotactic patterns and the pronunciation difficulties of Mandarin-speaking EFL learners. The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly, 11(4), 148–168.

Javadi-safa, A. (2018). Effects of using songs on adult EFL learners’ vocabulary learning. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 5(3), 101–112.

Jegho, L. (2017). More Bahasa Indonesia Courses in Chinese Universities. Global Indonesian Voices, 4 April. Retrieved from

Kahu, E., Nelson, K., & Picton, C. (2017). Student interest as a key driver of engagement for first year students. Student Success, 8(2), 55–66.

Khan, S. (2018). Most spoken languages in Asia. Mars Translation, 5 April. Retrieved from

Klapper, J. 2003. Taking communication to task? A critical review of recent trends in language teaching. The Language Learning Journal, 27: 33–42.

Krashen, S. D. (1981). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning.: Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Krashen, S. D. (1982). Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques & Principles in Language Teaching (3rd Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lee, J. F., and VanPatten, B. (2003). Making Communicative Language Teaching Happen (2nd Ed.). New York: Mc Graw-Hill.

Li, C. N. & Thompson, S. A. (2018). Chinese. In Comrie, B. (Ed.), The World’s Major Languages (3rd Ed.) (pp. 721-741). New York: Routledge.

Lord, G. (2010). The combined effects of immersion and instruction on second language pronunciation. Foreign Language Annals, 43(3), 488–503.

MacIntyre, P. D., & Doucette, J. (2010). Willingness to communicate and action control. System, 38(2), 161–171.

Mart, C. T. (2014). The Audio-Lingual Method: An easy way of achieving speech. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(12), 63–65.

Mei, Y. (2018). Comments on the Audiolingual Method. International Journal of Arts and Commerce, 7(4), 47–53.

Moeliono, A. M., et. al. (2017). Tata Bahasa Baku Bahasa Indonesia. Jakarta: Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa.

Mulyaningsih, D. H. (2014). Perbandingan Fonologi Bahasa Indonesia dan Bahasa Mandarin. Jurnal Pendidikan Bahasa dan Sastra (BAHTERA), 13(1), 1–10.

Najib, N.U.M., Yusof, N.A., & Tabassi, A.A., (2014). Living in on-campus student housing: Students’ behavioural intentions and students’ personal attainments. Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies: Environmental Settings in the Era of Urban Regeneration (pp. 494-503). Elsevier.

Nieminen, K. (2006). Aspects of learning foreign languages and learning with foreign languages: Language immersion and CLIL. Development Project Report. Jyvaskyla University of Applied Sciences.

Nunan, D. 2004. Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Odisho, E. Y. (2014). Pronunciation Is in The Brain, Not in The Mouth: A cognitive approach to teaching it. New Jersey: Gorgias Press.

Paryono, Y. (2019). Tantangan pemartabatan Bahasa Indonesia di ruang public di Surabaya, Jawa Timur in Endarmoko, et. al. (Eds.). Prosiding Kongres Bahasa Indonesia XI: Menjayakan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia. Jakarta: Badan Pengembangan Bahasa dan Perbukuan, Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Pelton, R. P. (2010). An introduction to action research in Pelton, R.P. (Ed.). Action Research for Teacher Candidates: Using classroom data to enhance instruction. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2013). Introduction to learning and behavior (4th Ed.). Cengage Learning.

Renukadevi, D. (2014). The Role of Listening in Language Acquisition; the Challenges & Strategies in Teaching Listening. International Journal of Education and Information Studies, 4(1), 2277–3169.

Richards, J. C. (2006). Communicative Language Teaching Today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C. (2014). The changing face of language learning: learning beyond the classroom. RELC Journal. 46(1), 1-18.

Rohimah, D. F. (2018). Internasionalisasi Bahasa Indonesia dan internalisasi budaya Indonesia melalui Bahasa Indonesia bagi Penutur Asing (BIPA). Jurnal Humaniora. 2(2), 199-211.

Sagor, R. (2000). Guiding school improvement with action research. Alexandria, VA:ASCD.

Saranraj, L. & Meenakshi, K. (2016). The Influence of Anxiety in Second Language Learning: A Case Study with Reference to Engineering Students in Tamil Nadu, India. Indian Journal of Science and Technology 9(42), 1-5. DOI: 10.17485/ijst/2016/v9i42/102044

Senel, M. (2006). Suggestions for Beautifying the Pronunciation of EFL Learners in Turkey. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 2(1), 111–125.

Supeno. (2018). Using Songs to Improve EFL Students’ Pronunciation. Proceeding of the 65th TEFLIN International Conference, 65(1), 339–346. Makassar, Indonesia.

Suwartono. (2014). Enhancing the Pronunciation of English Suprasegmental Features Through Reflective Learning Method. TEFLIN Journal, 25(1), 80–93.

Tadmor, U. (2018). Malay-Indonesian. In Comrie, B. (Ed.), The World’s Major Languages (3rd Ed.) (pp. 809-837). New York: Routledge.

Tlazalo, A. C., & Basurto, N. M. (2014). Pronunciation instruction and students’ practice to develop their confidence in EFL oral skills. Profile: Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 16(2), 151–170.

Tomal, D. R. (2010). Action Research for Educators. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Wikarti, A. R., Renata, E., & Moira, S. (2019). Contrastive analysis between Chinese and Indonesian phonology and implementation on conversation class. International Journal of Cultural and Art Studies, 03(1), 1-14.

Wiratsih, W. (2019). Analisis kesulitan pelafalan konsonan Bahasa Indonesia (Studi kasus terhadap pemelajar BIPA asal Tiongkok di Universitas Atma Jaya Yogyakarta). Jurnal Kredo, 2(2), 242-255.

Wirawan, A. K. (2018). Pembelajaran Bahasa Indonesia bagi Penutur Asing (BIPA) dengan Meode Immersion Teritegrasi Budaya Indonesia. Kongres Bahasa Indonesia XI “Menjayakan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia.”

Xu, M., & Setiawan, T. (2020). The Indonesian Pronunciation Mistakes of Chinese Students from Yunnan Minzu University. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 461(ICLLAE 2019), 207–211.

Xulu-Gama, N. (2019). The role of student housing in student success: An ethnographic account. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, 7(2), 15-25.

Yoshida, M. T. (2016). Beyond repeat after me: Teaching pronunciation to English learners. Chicago: TESOL Press.

Zhang, F. & Yin, P., (2009). A study of pronunciation problems of English learners in China. Asian Social Science, 5(6), 141–146.

Zheng, Y. (2008). Anxiety and Second/Foreign Language Learning Revisited. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, 1(1), 1-12.



  • There are currently no refbacks.








RJI Main logo



The International Journal of Linguistic, Literature, and Its Teaching at http:// is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License



Flag Counter