FSI Vietnamese Basic Course

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22 hrs+
Pages of Instruction
Completion Time

What is the FSI Vietnamese Basic Course?

Created in 1967, the FSI Vietnamese course is a comprehensive collection of materials that will teach you the Vietnamese of the south.

The course starts with an understandably extensive introduction to pronunciation. Then, after working through the sounds of southern Vietnamese, the rest of the course consists of dialogs that present a new language along with drills for practice. This allows you to build your fluency while retaining everything you have learned.

In total, the course comprises 15 lessons, and each one is accompanied by audio recordings to help you keep working on your pronunciation.

How was FSI Vietnamese Basic originally used?

Like other FSI Basic courses, FSI Vietnamese was created to give US diplomatic staff a good grounding in the language before being sent to work in the country.

Students were expected to attend around six hours of lessons each day, and the time spent in the classroom was supposed to be supplemented by a further two hours of individual study.

During class time, students were expected to speak only Vietnamese, and outside of their lessons, they were encouraged to speak Vietnamese together. In this way, after only around six months of study, they were able to reach a good level of proficiency in the language.

How can you use FSI Vietnamese Basic?

Although you probably can’t hope to recreate the learning environment of an intensive FSI course, you can still make use of this rich resource to enhance your autonomous study of the language.

If you have another Vietnamese coursebook, you can use the FSI materials to supplement what you are learning, going through the dialogs and drills to help boost your listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, and fluency.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a free Vietnamese course to use as your primary learning material, you can work through the lessons, supplementing them with any other resources you have at your disposal.

Taking it further

Of course, you can never learn Vietnamese through books alone, and the reason you are learning this language in the first place is to be able to converse with Vietnamese speakers in their own tongue. After you start learning, you should seek opportunities to try out everything you have studied.

Look for native Vietnamese speakers you can practice with and try to make speaking Vietnamese a part of your daily life. Once you start, you will see how quickly you begin to progress in this demanding but rewarding language.

Volume 1

Student Text

Guide to Pronunciation Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3 Tape 4 Tape 5
  Tape 6 Tape 7 Tape 8    
Lesson 01 Tape
Lesson 02 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3    
Lesson 03 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3    
Lesson 04 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3 Tape 4  
Lesson 05 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3 Tape 4  
Lesson 06 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3    
Lesson 07 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3    
Lesson 08 Tape 1 Tape 2      
Lesson 09 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3    
Lesson 10 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3    

Volume 2

Student Text

Lesson 11 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3  
Lesson 12 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3  
Lesson 13 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3 Tape 4
Lesson 14 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3 Tape 4
Lesson 15 Tape 1 Tape 2 Tape 3 Tape 4