|Publisher||Foreign Service Institute|
The FSI language courses were developed by the Foreign Language Institute to help train American diplomats before they were stationed overseas. There are three main program types: the Basic, the Programmatic and the START courses. All of them are centered around repeated drills that are designed to promote overlearning of the material.
The Basic courses are the most comprehensive. Their lengths can vary, ranging from ten units to one hundred and twenty. There are Basic courses for a huge number of languages as well, including many African and Asian languages that have few other resources. Two of the largest are Mandarin Chinese and Swahili.
Since they were developed by the government, many of the courses are now in the public domain. The FSI Language Courses website has posted many of the available languages on the Internet, and they can be downloaded for free. Unfortunately, for some major languages, such as Russian and Japanese, the courses used by FSI were copyrighted by their developers, and are not available in the public domain.