FSI Lao Basic Course

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What is the FSI Lao Basic Course?

The FSI Lao course is based on the Vientiane dialect of Lao. It was first created in 1970, although an updated version appeared as recently as 2014. The materials available here include the text for Volumes 1 and 2 of the updated course as well as the accompanying audio. There is also a supplementary course on reading Lao, which also includes recordings.

How was FSI Lao Basic originally used?

The FSI Lao course was created to train US diplomatic staff in the Lao language before taking up positions in the country. It was designed as an intensive course, with students taking around six hours of classes per day, supplemented by a further two hours of personal study. The instructor was a native Lao speaker, and students were expected to speak only Lao during lessons. Even outside of class, they were encouraged to speak Lao among themselves, and in such conditions, they were able to make rapid progress, attaining a good level of competency in only around six months.

How can you use FSI Lao Basic?

It is unlikely you will be able to recreate anything like the study environment of a full-time FSI course. However, FSI Lao contains a wealth of material that, with a little creativity, you can adapt to give your learning a boost.

Lao is not among the most common languages to learn, and as a result, anyone who wants to study it will find it a challenge to obtain materials to work with. One or two books for learning Lao exist, but resources are meager, and any additional materials you can get your hands on will be invaluable.

Unfortunately, the FSI Lao course follows a different format from other FSI courses, relying more heavily on the instructor, which makes it less suitable for self-study. However, if you are determined to improve your Lao, the lessons and accompanying audio can still be used to help you achieve your learning goal.

This means if you have another Lao coursebook and already know some of the language, this free Lao course can be used to supplement your study with additional speaking and listening exercises, allowing you to expand your vocabulary and work on your fluency.

However, if you don’t know any Lao and are looking for an introductory course for autonomous learners, this might not be the best place to start.

Taking it further

Regardless of the materials you use, you won’t be able to speak Lao unless you practice. This means as soon as you can, you should try to find opportunities to use your Lao and to make it a part of your daily life. Look for native speakers to talk to so you can try out what you’ve learned. Then, when you start using what you’ve picked up in this free online Lao course, you will really start to see your language skills improve.

Volume 1 (1970)

Student Text

Volume 1 (new course: 2014)

Student Text

Volume 2 (new course: 2014)

Student Text

lbc 1 lbc 21 lbc 41 lbc 61 lbc 81
lbc 2 lbc 22 lbc 42 lbc 62 lbc 82
lbc 3 lbc 23 lbc 43 lbc 63 lbc 83
lbc 4 lbc 24 lbc 44 lbc 64 lbc 84
lbc 5 lbc 25 lbc 45 lbc 65 lbc 85
lbc 6 lbc 26 lbc 46 lbc 66  
lbc 7 lbc 27 lbc 47 lbc 67  
lbc 8 lbc 28 lbc 48 lbc 68  
lbc 9 lbc 29 lbc 49 lbc 69  
lbc 10 lbc 30 lbc 50 lbc 70  
lbc 11 lbc 31 lbc 51 lbc 71  
lbc 12 lbc 32 lbc 52 lbc 72  
lbc 13 lbc 33 lbc 53 lbc 73  
lbc 14 lbc 34 lbc 54 lbc 74  
lbc 15 lbc 35 lbc 55 lbc 75  
lbc 16 lbc 36 lbc 56 lbc 76  
lbc 17 lbc 37 lbc 57 lbc 77  
lbc 18 lbc 38 lbc 68 lbc 78  
lbc 19 lbc 39 lbc 59 lbc 79  
lbc 20 lbc 40 lbc 60 lbc 80  

Reading Lao


Student Text

Part One

Frames 001-053 Tape Frames 401-438 Tape Frames 712-738 Tape
Frames 054-094 Tape Frames 439-461 Tape Frames 739-771 Tape
Frames 095-132 Tape Frames 462-490 Tape Frames 772-791 Tape
Frames 133-190 Tape Frames 491-521 Tape Frames 792-821 Tape
Frames 191-228 Tape Frames 522-555 Tape Frames 822-839 Tape
Frames 229-250 Tape Frames 556-584 Tape Frames 840-848 Tape
Frames 251-284 Tape Frames 585-619 Tape Frames 849-871 Tape
Frames 285-311 Tape Frames 620-643 Tape Frames 872-892 Tape
Frames 312-343 Tape Frames 644-660 Tape Frames 893-906 Tape
Frames 344-370 Tape Frames 661-679 Tape Frames 001-023 Tape
Frames 371-400 Tape Frames 680-711 Tape  

Part Two

Frames 024-030 Tape Frames 146-164 Tape Frames 431-456 Tape Frames 600-626 Tape
Frames 031-040B Tape Frames 165-171 Tape Frames 457-477 Tape Frames 627-635 Tape
Frames 040C-057 Tape Frames 172-196 Tape Frames 477A-488 Tape Frames 636-657 Tape
Frames 058-069 Tape Frames 197-206 Tape Frames 489-498 Tape Frames 658-679 Tape
Frames 070-092 Tape Frames 207-215 Tape Frames 499-516 Tape Frames 680-705 Tape
Frames 093-095 Tape Frames 216-243 Tape Frames 517-526 Tape    
Frames 096-100 Tape Frames 244-269 Tape Frames 527-530 Tape    
Frames 100A-104 Tape Frames 270-295 Tape Frames 531-541 Tape    
Frames 105-108 Tape Frames 296-312 Tape Frames 542A-545 Tape    
Frames 109-122 Tape Frames 313-331 Tape Frames 546A-555 Tape    
Frames 123-128 Tape Frames 332-351 Tape Frames 556-566 Tape    
Frames 129-133 Tape Frames 352-373 Tape Frames 567-572 Tape    
Frames 134-136Ba Tape Frames 374-395 Tape Frames 573-586 Tape    
Frames 136C-145 Tape Frames 396-430 Tape Frames 587-599 Tape    

Everyday  Lao