FSI Le monde francophone (French)

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What is the 'le monde francophone' course?

FSI le monde francophone is a reference guide to 23 of the countries where French is spoken outside of France, including those in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas. It consists of a series of texts in French giving details about these countries along with a series of questions on each section to guide your reading and help check your understanding.

At the end, you will also find a glossary of all the words used in the texts along with a bibliography for further reading and a index of all the countries included.

How was 'le monde francophone' originally used?

This free online le monde francophone course was originally created for US diplomatic staff who were preparing for postings to French-speaking parts of the world other than Metropolitan France. It was designed for students who already had some knowledge of French but who needed information about the local culture and customs of the country or territory where they were being sent.

This material would have been given to diplomats to read through themselves outside of class, but presumably, they would also have had contact with a tutor who could check their progress and understanding – probably using French.

How can you use 'le monde francophone'?

This course will be of most use to students who already have a knowledge of French and who are looking for reading materials to help them expand that knowledge. By working through these texts, students will be able to improve their overall level of French, meeting new vocabulary and structures, at the same time as learning more about the various parts of the French-speaking world.

Since this free le monde francophone course consists of reading texts only, it is perfectly suited for self-study by students who have the necessary level of French. If you can read these texts and understand around 75-80% without using a dictionary, working your way through them will be a good way to improve your French reading skills as well as your overall ability in the language.

Anybody interested in a particular French-speaking country may also find some interesting information in the texts – however, be aware that this course was first published in the mid-1970s, so much of the information included will probably be quite dated.

Taking it further

Although this course is an excellent source of reading materials for students of French, you will never master the language if you don’t practice it in real life. For this reason, as soon as you can, I urge you to take you French and try it out “in the wild”. Look for native speakers to talk to, and above all, do everything you can to make using French a part of your daily life. Because when you do, that’s when you’ll begin to see how much progress you are really making.