FSI Spanish Fast Course
What are FSI FAST Courses?
The Foreign Service Institute – or FSI for short – is the branch of the US government responsible for providing training courses for diplomatic staff and their families preparing for postings abroad. Their main programs are what are known as Basic courses, which last around six months and leave students with a relatively high level of proficiency in the target language.
However, committing to half a year of learning is not possible for everyone, so FSI also developed FAST courses to provide some grounding in various languages for those with more limited time.
These courses are intended to teach students the basics of the language while also giving them an introduction to the culture and customs of their destination countries to help them adapt more easily to life there when they arrive.
What is FSI Spanish FAST?
FSI Spanish FAST was published in 1983 and consists of 38 short lessons – or “cycles”. It was intended to be completed in 10 weeks of intensive study, but it has also been designed to be suitable for less intensive study.
In each cycle, new language is first presented, usually in the form of a dialog representing a common situation you are likely to experience in a Spanish-speaking country. It is then practiced through repetition and exercises. Each cycle also includes grammar notes that give you a general idea of how the new expressions or grammar work.
The goal of the course is not to give students an in-depth knowledge of Spanish but rather to give them the confidence to use the Spanish they have learned to be able to function confidently in a range of frequently encountered scenarios.
How can you use FSI Spanish FAST?
Unfortunately, the audio recordings that should accompany this FSI Spanish FAST course are currently unavailable, making it less useful than it would otherwise be.
However, if you are learning Spanish with another coursebook or taking Spanish classes with a teacher, you may still find working through the text of this course useful as a way of reviewing and consolidating what you have already learned elsewhere.
Taking it further
However you decide to use this free Spanish course, you will never master the language if you don’t practice. This means that at the earliest opportunity, you should take your Spanish skills out into the real world and try them out.
Since Spanish has so many speakers worldwide, it shouldn’t be difficult to find native speakers to talk to – so everything you can to make using Spanish a part of your daily life. Then, when you do this, you will start to see how much progress you are already making in one of the world’s most useful languages.