FSI Brazilian Portuguese Fast Course
What are FSI FAST courses?
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is the arm of the US government charged with providing the necessary training for diplomatic staff preparing for postings abroad. A large part of this involves language instruction, and the mainstay of FSI’s classes are the six-month intensive Basic courses that are designed to give students a solid foundation in their target language.
However, for those unable to commit to a half-year program of study, FSI developed the shorter FAST courses. FAST stands for Familiarization And Short-Term Training, and these courses were intended to give students a more basic grasp of the languages they needed to know, along with an introduction to the culture and customs of the countries where they were being sent.
What is FSI Brazilian Portuguese FAST?
FSI Brazilian Portuguese FAST was first published in the early 1990s and consist of two volumes and a total of 30 lessons. The lessons are based on the kind of situations you are likely to find yourself in while traveling, working or living in Brazil, and they teach you the language you will need to deal with those situations confidently.
The goal of the course is not complete mastery of the language and its grammatical structures but rather to leave you ready to get by with the Brazilian Portuguese you have picked up. At the same time, each lesson introduces different aspects of Brazilian culture to help you understand the country better before you arrive.
How can you use FSI Brazilian Portuguese FAST?
Although the FSI Brazilian Portuguese FAST course was intended to be used with an instructor, these materials can still be of great benefit to anyone studying the language. You can simply work through the coursebook, listening to the dialogs and using the drills for practice, adapting everything to your needs and learning style as you see fit.
This course could be studied alone, but you will probably find it most useful if you use it alongside another, possibly slightly more modern, Brazilian Portuguese coursebook
Taking it further
However you decide to use this free Brazilian Portuguese course, you won’t be able to master the language without practicing. This means at the earliest possible opportunity, you should take your new language skills and try them out in the real world. Look for native Brazilian Portuguese speakers to talk to, and above all, do everything you can to make using Brazilian Portuguese a part of your daily routine. Then, when you do this, you will see how quickly your Brazilian Portuguese begins to improve.
Recommended Brazilian Portuguese Learning Material
I can't recommend highly enough Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar and the accompanying workbook. I used this book extensively when living in Brazil and it served me countless times to understand how Brazilians really speak and the nuances of the language. I still have this book besides my bed even today.
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