FSI Spanish Programmatic Course

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What are FSI Programmatic courses?

The Foreign Service Institute, FSI, is a branch of the US government that is charged with providing diplomatic staff with the training they require to function effectively in their posts abroad.

Part of this includes language instruction, and the FSI Basic courses are at the heart of this. These are six-month intensive programs designed to give US diplomats a relatively high level of language proficiency before they are sent to work in foreign countries.

However, for some key languages, Programmatic courses were developed to give students a basic knowledge of the language before beginning the Basic course. The goal was to prepare students for the demands of the more intensive Basic course, allowing them to progress more rapidly and achieve a higher level of success.

What is the structure of FSI Spanish Programmatic?

First published in 1967, The FSI Spanish Programmatic Course was one of the earliest examples. It is designed to take students through the material contained in the first units of the Basic course in greater detail, giving them an in-depth knowledge of the language they would then cover in Basic.

It consists of 50 units that require around 100 hours of study, and it has been designed specifically to be suitable for use with or without a teacher. Each unit is accompanied by an audio recording containing all the new language that is presented in the unit as well as drills and exercises for practice. However, unfortunately, the recordings for units 46-50 are currently not available.

Studied alone, this course will give you a good grounding in Spanish that will allow you to cope confidently in a range of common situations that you may encounter in Spanish-speaking countries.

Alternatively, if you are planning to tackle the more comprehensive Basic course, studying Programmatic will give you a good foundation in the language, allowing you to benefit even more from the Basic materials.

Note that the pronunciation used in this course is that of Latin America rather than of Spain.

How can you use the FSI Spanish Programmatic Course?

Since the FSI Spanish Programmatic Course has been designed for autonomous study, you can work through the course more or less as you find it. You simply need to listen to the audio while working through the workbook, following the instructions you are given.

Programmatic courses take you through the materials slowly and thoroughly, and in the early units, there is a heavy emphasis on pronunciation. For example, the first unit is devoted entirely to pronunciation while Unit 2 includes a recording of almost 30 minutes that teaches you only four sentences.

This means that while you can use these recordings to work on perfecting your pronunciation, many people might choose to spend less time on this aspect, instead preferring to focus on the dialogs and drills. This is perfectly acceptable.

However, note that the study method relies on drilling and repetition until you can repeat the sentences fluently and without hesitation. This means if you want to get the most out of this course, you should spend enough time on each unit to master the language rather than racing through and trying to finish the course as quickly as possible.

Remember, finishing the course doesn’t equate to being able to speak Spanish.

Taking it further

No matter how good your study materials, you will never be able to learn a language from a book alone. This means that at the earliest opportunity, you should take your new Spanish skills and try them out in the real world. Find native speakers to practice with and make speaking Spanish a part of your daily life. Then, when you do this, you will realize just how much Spanish you have already learned.

Volume 1

Student Text


Instructor's Manual

Unit 01 Tape   Unit 13 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 02 Tape   Unit 14 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 03 Tape   Unit 15 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 04 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 16 Tape  
Unit 05 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 17 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 06 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 18 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 07 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 19 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 08 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 20 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 09 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 21 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 10 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 22 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 11 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 23 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 12 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 24 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 25 Tape 1 Tape 2      

Volume 2

Student Text


Instructor's Manual

Unit 26 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 36 Tape  
Unit 27 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 37 Tape  
Unit 28 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 38 Tape  
Unit 29 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 39 Tape  
Unit 30 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 40 Tape 1 Tape 2
Unit 31 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 41 Tape  
Unit 32 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 42 Tape  
Unit 33 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 43 Tape  
Unit 34 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 44 Tape  
Unit 35 Tape 1 Tape 2 Unit 45 Tape