FSI Thai Language Course
What is the FSI Thai Basic course?
The FSI Thai Basic course was launched in 1970 as a way to give US diplomats the necessary language skills they required before being sent to work in Thailand.
It is made up of 40 individual units as well as a comprehensive section on Thai phonology, a challenging aspect for many speakers of non-tonal languages.
The course gives students a good grounding in the basics of Thai before moving quickly on to more advanced aspects, with an emphasis on the spoken language as it is used in real life.
The course is based on authentic dialogs, which are supplemented by a wealth of drills, exercises and audio recordings that help students make rapid progress, allowing them to achieve a good level of proficiency in only a short amount of time.
How was FSI Thai Basic originally used?
This course was originally intended for full-time students studying in a classroom for six hours a day.
Outside of class, they were expected to spend a further two hours studying by themselves, and after the first few lessons, they were expected to speak only Thai in the classroom as well as among themselves at all other times.
Studying in this way, students would be able to achieve a relatively high level of Thai after only six months.
How can you use FSI Thai Basic?
Of course, for most people, recreating the perfect study environment enjoyed by US diplomatic staff is not possible.
However, if you know how to use the materials correctly, you can still benefit immensely from this amazingly rich resource.
There are a few decent self-study courses available for Thai, but most of them can only take you so far.
There is very little that bridges the gap between the basics and an intermediate or advanced level, but if you supplement your coursebook with the drills and exercises found in the FSI Thai course, you will be able to give your Thai the boost it needs.
You can also use this course as your primary learning resource, and as long as you supplement it with other materials, you will also be able to make rapid progress.
Taking it further
Using this material in conjunction with other resources will allow you to get your Thai up and running, but there is no substitute for using it in the real world.
As early as possible, you should also seek out people to practice your Thai with, either native speakers or other people who are interested in learning this challenging but rewarding tongue.
By taking advantage of this free Thai course as well as any other materials you have available, you will quickly be able to function in an ever-increasing range of situations in Thai.
Introduction to Thai Phonology
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