Subject details

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills at a Lower Intermediate level of Tetum to:

  1. Use an active vocabulary of about 3000 words.
  2. Understand, use, and translate a broad range of sentence structures in extended texts on a range of non – technical topics such as transport, schools, giving directions, using telephones, making plans, family relations, having a party.
  3. Communicate in speaking and writing with a degree of confidence in a variety of contexts ,including discussing one’s own education and schools, families, transports, and giving directions using a map.

Demonstrate an understanding of cultural issues and current affairs in Timor- Leste, including such topics as local customs , political strife, and celebrations.

To achieve these learning outcomes, each week students are expected to study for five hours as follows:  

1. 90 minutes, before online class, working on the written and audio materials for the week, and, memorising the written and spoken forms of that week’s vocabulary 

2. 120 minutes, participating in class in the virtual class room

3. 60 minutes, completing online follow-up exercises regarding listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and vocabulary 

4. 30 minutes, completing weekly assessment and quiz.  

It is also expected that students should spend at least 5 hours of individual study practising the week’s written and spoken language forms and vocabulary and reviewing feedback on their work.

    • Hatudu dalan (giving directions)
    • Descreve ema (describing people)
    • Atividade loro-loron nian (Daily activities)
    • Uza telefone (Using the telephone)
    • Tein (cooking)
    • Eskola (school)
    • Ensinu superior (Higher education)
    • Halo planu (making plans)
    • Halo festa (having a party)
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Virtual Classroom
      • Audio/Video conferencing
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
    • Online materials

      • Audio-Video streaming
      • Resources and Links
      • Quizzes

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this subject:


Completion of TETM1003 Tetum 2 or demonstration of equivalent level through completion of a placement test. Students with prior knowledge of the language will be required to take a placement test. Students are not permitted to enrol in a subject that is lower than the level they achieve in the placement test, or a lower level than a subject they have already completed. Students without the appropriate level of proficiency for ANU-TETM2004 (Tetum 3) will be withdrawn from this subject and we will recommend an alternative subject at the correct level.

Special requirements

  • EquipmentDetails - To successfully engage in this course students will need the following: • Laptop or computer • Computer camera (either inbuilt or webcam) • Headset with microphone • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser • Reliable internet access • Access to a scanner or smartphone

Tetum is the languages of Timor – Leste. The study of Tetum is essential for anyone wishing to understand Timor- Leste’s society, culture and history. The ANU offers to rare opportunity to complete a minor in Tetum. Timor – Leste is a close neighbour of Australia and ties between these two countries are increasing through international security, trade and development projects. Studnets completing a minor in Tetum will be uniquely placed to engage with the Timorese people, state, and society. The four courses needed to complete the minor are not offered on campus, but are instead available 100% online and can be studied from anywhere. Students who complete this language minor will reach an Intermediate level of Tetum skills and knowledge.

Students of this course will learn Tetum at a lower-intermediate level. Students will be introduced to new vocabulary, improve their grammar skills, build on their spoken Tetum skills, and learn to write passages of Tetum on several non – technical topics. This course’s topics include directions, school and higher education, cooking, describing people and having a party. 

  • 4 x written tests (20%%)
  • Mid term oral test (30%%)
  • Final oral test (30%%)
  • Translation assignment (10%%)
  • Presentation (10%%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more: