FSI Shona Basic Course

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What is the FSI Shona Basic Course?

This FSI Shona course, which first appeared in 1965, is based on the Manyika dialect of the language. However, at the same time, it also attempts to allow for the differences in pronunciation and vocabulary found in other versions of the language.

It is divided into 49 units, each starting with a dialog that presents the new language. This is followed by drills and exercises that are designed to let you practice what you have just learned.

Each unit is also accompanied by an audio recording that you can use to work on your pronunciation – however, at present, only the recordings for units 1-35 are available.

How was FSI Shona Basic originally used?

This course was originally created for US diplomatic staff who needed a grounding in the language before being sent to postings in parts of the world where Shona is spoken.

The students would take around six hours of class each day, and they followed this up with a further two hours of personal study.

During lesson time, they spoke only Shona, and even outside of class, they were encouraged to use it to communicate among themselves. In this way, after only an amount of time, they were able to gain a relatively high level of competence in the language.

How can you use FSI Shona Basic?

Although you can’t expect to recreate the perfect learning environment of an FSI classroom, you can still benefit greatly from this free Shona course if you know how to adapt it.

Since this will probably be your primary source of learning materials for this language, you can work through the dialogues, using the drills and exercises to practice what you learn along the way.

If you can find other study resources to supplement the FSI course, you will be able to accelerate your progress even more.

Taking it further

However good your study materials, you can’t expect to learn a language through books alone. This means, as soon as you can, you also need to take your Shona skills and try them out with native speakers.

Try to find people you can practice with and make speaking Shona a part of your daily life – because once you do this, you will see how quickly your ability in the language starts to grow.

Student Text

Unit 01 Tape Unit 10 Tape Unit 19 Tape Unit 28 Tape
Unit 02 Tape Unit 11 Tape Unit 20 Tape Unit 29 Tape
Unit 03 Tape Unit 12 Tape Unit 21 Tape Unit 30 Tape
Unit 04 Tape Unit 13 Tape Unit 22 Tape Unit 31 Tape
Unit 05 Tape Unit 14 Tape Unit 23 Tape Unit 32 Tape
Unit 06 Tape Unit 15 Tape Unit 24 Tape Unit 33 Tape
Unit 07 Tape Unit 16 Tape Unit 25 Tape Unit 34 Tape
Unit 08 Tape Unit 17 Tape Unit 26 Tape Unit 35 Tape
Unit 09 Tape Unit 18 Tape Unit 27 Tape