Dear French language student,
Mastering French Conversation by Dr. Brians Languages is based on the highly acclaimed language learning program developed by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) for US Government personnel in the 1940s. The training enabled professionals to live and work in a foreign country.
The FSI approach is straightforward: You learn how to speak French by speaking French. Mastering French Conversation allows the complete beginner to do exactly that.
The FSI-inspired Guided Imitation drills provide staged conversations. These staged conversations are performed exclusively in French. You hear statements and questions in French, understand them, and then formulate a response in French. In this way, you learn to think in French. You are preparing for live conversations on the streets of Paris.
Mastering French Conversation is an updated version of the original FSI course. The drills have been completely modernized, rewritten, and re-recorded.
This program is likely the most intensive and demanding audio self-help program available. If you really want to master French conversation, this course is for you.
In this course, we will cover:
1) Definite Articles: le, la, l'
2) Subject Pronouns: je, tu, elle, il, on, nous, vous, elles, ils
3) Question Forms: est-ce que, intonation and inversion
4) The verb 'être'
For course details, see our website.
We wish you the very best,
Scott & Dr. Annette Brians
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Mastering French Conversation unit 1
I have been a student of French for a while and had some previous exposure to the FSI method which I liked very much. I was taking a 4 month round-the-world trip and bought this course as a basic refresher before I arrived in French Polynesia. I have always had a problem understanding French that I hear in conversation. I found the audio quality of this product great and the substitution drills good for differentiating sounds I have confused in the past while challenging me to respond rather than think about responses. I highly recommend downloading the free manuscript in order to see and picture the spelling of similar sounding words in your head. I have listened to this unit several times and believe repetition is the best way to learn French conversation. At my level, I probably should have started with unit 2, but I found it a good review for reestablishing my very basic French conversation.
Great product, I am going to get unit 2.
French only to make you start thinking in French
This US Gov and military have to teach lots of people to get functional in foreign languages and had developed a no-nonsense approach in the 50's and 60's: recorded audio presents sentences and questions, students transform the sentences in some specified way and answer the questions, ad infinitim. The approach starts simply and continues ever more advanced, and stays in the native language, so you have to start thinking in it right away, albeit within your limited vocabulary. The approach was great. This course, Mastering French, re-recorded that material with modern recording technology, so the sound quality is up excellent. The emphasis is not on studying grammar, but rather getting used to what you hear and say; in fact, you might want a grammar book to use on the side to clarify some things, whereas this course is for people who want to become conversational. There are PDFs of the material which you can choose to use or not, although it's a must for the initial chapter's vocabulary that gets you started. The material progresses quickly enough such that I re-listen to most sections a few times. I recommend using an mp3 player rather than a computer; this gives better control to "rewind," and when you don't need to look at the PDF, walk around the garden.This is the course that I wish I had when I started, nonetheless, I found it extremely useful to start at Mastering French's beginning.
- Paul W Hodges