FSI French Headstart for Belgium Course

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Express Download All French Courses (FAST)
Pages of Instruction
6 months
Completion Time

What is French Headstart for Belgium?

The Headstart language courses were created by the US Defense Language Institute to give members of the armed forces the basics of the language in the countries where they were stationed. This means the focus is on learning to communicate effectively in the kind of day-to-day situations you are likely to encounter while living abroad.

French Headstart for Belgium was first published in 1983 and consists of five modules – three core modules and a further two optional ones. The modules are broken down into three or four units, with each one teaching you the language you need to function in specific situations, like eating out or taking a taxi.

These are accompanied by audio recordings that contain the new language, presented in the form of dialogs, along with drills and exercises for practice.

The course also includes an in-depth introduction to Belgium. Although this is now a little dated, it still contains a wealth of information about the customs and traditions of the country along with plenty of other useful details you might need to know during any time you spend there.

How can you use French Headstart for Belgium?

Since the Headstart courses were designed to be suitable for autonomous study, you can simply work through the materials as they were intended. You need to complete the first three modules in order, so start listening to the recordings from the beginning and follow the instructions they contain.

After completing the three core modules, the fourth and fifth modules provide a number of additional situations, and you can study the ones that seem most interesting or relevant to your needs.

These courses have been designed to be flexible, so feel free to adapt the materials as you see fit. It is recommended that you listen to the dialogs and practice the pronunciation before reading the text since this will help you pronounce the words more accurately. However, beyond this, if you find that something works well for you, then that’s the best way to study.

Since this course was designed for service personnel, you will find that a lot of the vocabulary is related to the military, but you shouldn’t feel you need to try to memorize everything.

Instead, focus on the language and expressions you think will be most useful to you and let the rest go.

It is expected that most students will require around 40-50 hours to complete this course – slightly more than most of the other Headstart courses. However, this is just a guideline, and you should work through at your own pace.

You don’t win anything for finishing quickly, and just because you have completed the course, it doesn’t mean you can speak French.

Instead, focus on the mastery of the language – and take as much time as you need to achieve this.

For more details about Headstart courses and how to use them, check out my Headstart Courses post.

Taking it further

However you choose to use these materials, you won’t be able to learn French through books alone. Instead, you need to look for opportunities to use your French – with Belgians, French or any other native speakers – and you should try to make using French a part of your daily life. Then, if you can do this, you will realize how quickly you are picking up this incredibly rich and useful language.

Volume 1

Student Text

Culture Notes

Tape 01 Side 1 Side 2 Tape 09 Side 1 Side 2
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