Sound Walk Recording Activity

This repeating exercise challenges students to learn and memorize previous week's vocabulary. In this particular exercise, the task was to create a sound walk using directions and places in the Indonesian language.

Goal: To evaluate each student's pronunciation of Indonesian words; To assess student's vocabulary range; To make sure that students practice and use their language skills in a very practical way.


There was a handout defining a “sound walk?" (see handout) and a technical guide on how to record.

The instructions were as follows:

- Take a walk in an environment that you like/are familiar with (Harvard Yard, your dorm, Charles River);

- Next, record yourself describing objects that you see and directions that you take during the course of your walk using lists of words from our previous weeks (the instructor made available the list on the course website);

- Your description must be recorded on site (not pre-recorded);

- Your description must be in Indonesian and clear enough that those who listen to it can follow your route;

- The sound walk can be recorded in mp3 or wav format, with the length approximately 5 minutes. The file should be uploaded on the class dropbox on [deadline];

- Some examples can be listened from Janet Cardiff's works (


Before class.

  • For the activity, the instructor prepared:
    • A list of Indonesian words for places (school, building, library, classroom, river and so forth);
    • A list of Indonesian words for directions and verbs (to walk, to run, to turn left, to turn right, north, south, and so forth);
    • Some examples of sound walks
    • Created tasks i.e. students have to go on an excursion, students have to learn to record their voice clearly, and students have to memorize vocabulary ahead of the recording

In class.

  • Once the homework is submitted, the class listens to all recordings and each student receives feedback from his or her class mate and from the teacher.
  • They had a presentation in front of the class


  • The instructor shares that for the language teacher, the sound walk is a very useful tool to evaluate student's pronunciation and his/her vocabulary range. For the students, it challenges them to be creative.
  • The instructor also advises that for this activity to be successful, it must be very clear, technically speaking. Additionally, the instructor should be cognizant that while students need to use the vocabulary they have been given, they need to be creative enough to try new words.


  • sound recording device


The instructor assessed students on:

1. pronunciation

2. word choices

3. grammar (sentence, word orders, etc.)

4. creativity/the overall piece as a sound walk


Submitted by Veronika Kusumaryati, Anthropology

sound_walk_recording_activity.docx105 KB
bahasa_indonesia_week5_lesson_plan.docx100 KB
bahasa_indonesia_week1_guide_to_pronunciation.docx138 KB