French Basic Course Table
French Basic Course (Revised) draws heavily on the 1960 French Basic
Dan Desberg and associates and incorporates the 1967 French Supplementary
by Robert Salazar. It owes a debt to the many people who have contributed
to the evolution of language instruction since the establishment of the
Foreign Service Institute. One
member of the staff in the early years whose part should be especially
Naomi Pekmezian, first supervisor of French instruction at FSI.
Monique Cossard planned the revision, coordinated the efforts of the
members participating in the work, and revised the grammar notes which,
in their earlier
form, had presented difficulties to students. The dialogues, of which
she was the author
in the 1960 edition, remain unchanged.
With only minor exceptions, all
parts of the volume have been tape recorded. Alain
Mornu served as chairman of the recording group and Mr. Salazar served
Voices on the recordings are those of David Deceuninck, Elizabeth Barnett
Bernadette Ernould, Annie Goldmark, Paulette Martin, Annie Procopio,
Taylor, Ketty Blanchy Thompson, Mr. Mornu and Mr. Salazar. The recordings
in the FSI studio under the technical direction of Jose Ramirez, with
help from Albert
Whiting. Mr. Mornu checked and edited the tape recordings and cross referenced
printed text to the tapes.
The cover and title page were prepared by John McClelland of the FSI
Staff, with assistance from Joseph Sadote, Acting Head of the unit. The
which provides the background for the cover of this book is the work
of Claude Abron,
a French Language instructor. The volume was typed by Francine Haughey,
Mr. Mornu, Mr. Deceuninck and Catherine Hanna, did the proofreading of
portions. The English portions were proofread by Joann Tench Meeks. The
had the benefit of feedback from all members of the French teaching staff
counsel from Dr. C. Cleland Harris, Chairman of the Romance language
James R. Firth, Dean
School of Language Studies
Foreign Service Institute
Department of State
Planned in two volumes, French Basic Course (Revised) has been
help students reach a level of proficiency which will enable them to
effectively in most formal and informal conversations. The dialogues,
situations and narrations have been tape-recorded unless otherwise indicated
For beginning students, the twenty-four units are designed for a six-month
intensive training program of six hours of class per day, plus outside
preparation. Each unit presents a situational topic introduced in a
and usually five grammar points. Each grammar point is preceded by grammar
notes which generally are expressed in non-technical terms.
Other units include materials of the following kinds.
- A dialogue to
provide a body of natural French conversation as a source for subsequent
drills and exercises. (At FSI these dialogues are commonly memorized.)
- Useful words to supplement the vocabulary
with a limited number of additional words, usually related to the topic
of the dialogue.
awareness to enable the student to better identify the elements of
the utterances he learned as a whole and to regroup and review vocabulary.
- Drills of six different kinds, each type designed
for a specific purpose.
Situations to improve comprehension and serve as a basis for questions
and elementary conversation.
Narrations to provide reading
material and introduce a very limited number of vocabulary items.
Written exercises to offer to the student
opportunity to relate the spoken language to the writing system.
- Lexical drills to manipulate already acquired vocabulary and improve
- Learning drills to introduce new grammar points (with
reference to the corresponding grammar notes).
- Practice drills to give the student
an opportunity to illustrate in sentences the grammar point he just
- Question / Answer drills
to prepare the student for normal conversation.
- Review drills
(Drills preceded by an (%) have been included for optional use with