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Comprehensive List of FSI Spanish courses?

Printed From: FSI Language Courses
Category: Learning Languages
Forum Name: Spanish
Forum Discription: Discussion about studying Spanish using the FSI course.
Printed Date: 16 January 2009 at 3:36am

Topic: Comprehensive List of FSI Spanish courses?
Posted By: reachrishikh
Subject: Comprehensive List of FSI Spanish courses?
Date Posted: 18 May 2007 at 4:15am
Could someone please tell me the difference between the FSI Spanish Basic, FSI Spanish Programmatic, Barron's Mastering Spanish and the Platiquemos FSI Spanish versions of FSI Spanish courses, and if some or all are totally different, then could someone also tell me how many modules/volumes there are in all for each.
Like on this site, we have 2 volumes for the programmatic course, which have already been uploaded. The Barron's Spanish courses, I checked on Amazon, are 4 in all. How many are there for Basic Spanish? And how many for Platiquemos?

For example I have compiled a list of all the products for learning spanish available from pimsleur and thomas, and I would like to compile (and subsequently obtain/download) a list for all different products available for FSI Spanish. So I need to get this difference between Barron's, Platiquemos, Basic and Programmatic etc. sorted out, and ascertain how many volumes there are for each.
My List - (the ones with the 'y' indicate the ones that I have obtained)
Pimsleur Spanish -
Comprehensive Spanish I                               y
Comprehensive Spanish II                              y
Comprehensive Spanish III                             y
Spanish Plus                                          y
Express Spanish (has 11 extra travel scenes)
Thomas Spanish -
Basic                                                 y
Advanced                                              y
Language Builder
(This is what I currently make of the FSI Spanish courses, though I could be wrong. Please correct me if I am.)
FSI Spanish -
Basic Spanish Level 1
Basic Spanish Level 2
Basic Spanish Level 3
Basic Spanish Level 4
Programmatic Spanish Level 1
Programmatic Spanish Level 2
Barron's Mastering Spanish Level 1                    y
Barron's Mastering Spanish Level 2
Barron's Mastering Spanish Level 3
Barron's Mastering Spanish Level 4

Posted By: Chung
Date Posted: 18 May 2007 at 8:25am
The original course is FSI Spanish Basic and is in the public-domain in the USA. It comes in 4 volumes.
Barron's Mastering Spanish 1-4 is a shameless rip-off of the original FSI Spanish Basic course. The notable differences by Barron's are books with nice shiny covers, copyright to Barron's and a few extraneous notes on culture. The linguistic content (i.e. exercises, dialogues) is the same as the original.
Platiquemos is an updated version of FSI Spanish Basic 1-4 by a former employees of FSI, Don Casteel. This course is NOT in the public-domain. Platiquemos is divided into 8 parts (i.e. parts 1 and 2 of Platiquemos correspond more or less to FSI Spanish Basic I, parts 3 and 4 correspond more or less to FSI Spanish Basic II, and so and so forth.)
FSI Spanish Programmatic comes in 2 volumes, and is separate from FSI Spanish Basic and Platiquemos. Spanish Programmatic doesn't cover as much material as the FSI Spanish Basic course or Platiquemos. Some 3rd party companies sell FSI Spanish Programmatic together with FSI Spanish Basic vols. 3 and 4, thinking that this set is just as good as the full FSI Spanish Basic course (4 vols.) or Platiquemos (8 vols.). According to Don Casteel, this is the wrong way to think of FSI Spanish Programmatic and FSI Spanish Basic. When you finish FSI Spanish Programmatic, you will not be at the same level as if you had finish FSI Spanish Basic vols. 1 and 2.

Posted By: reachrishikh
Date Posted: 18 May 2007 at 8:48am
Oh thanks a lot Chung. I did think the case would more or less be like you explained.
So basically the FSI Spanish is just the Basic 4 volume course and the Programmatic 2 volume course, with third parties enhancing/adding their own content to the basic course and selling them as their own versions. So I can remove the Barrons' courses from my list safely.
Thanks a lot for the reply Chung. If possible, do you, or anyone else for that matter, know the list of FSI products (in the above format) for these other languages I'm looking for as well ? - French, German, Russian, Italian, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
I have been reading the posts in other areas of the forums, and I gather there is no FSI material (audio tapes) for Japanese. I can make do without it, and I have a lot of other material on Japanese anyway.

Posted By: Ender
Date Posted: 19 May 2007 at 7:16pm
I have never seen Barron's Mastering Spanish Level 3 and 4.  I have only seen 1 and 2.  Where did you find 3 and 4?  Thanks.



Posted By: reachrishikh
Date Posted: 20 May 2007 at 3:47am
Oddly, you get the complete Barrons Mastering Spanish 3 and 4 audio courses (as FSI Spanish 3 and 4) as bonus downloads when you order FSI Programmatic 1 or 2 at Amazon.
This is what was written in a review of one of the FSI Programmatic Spanish product's reviews, and thus, I deduced that there's a Barron's Spanish Level 3 and 4 as well.

Posted By: reachrishikh
Date Posted: 29 May 2007 at 11:51am
Alright, the FSI Programmatic on this site has a lot of units with only tape a and no tape b. Is this the way the course is structured, or are these tapes missing?

Posted By: mouse
Date Posted: 18 June 2007 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by reachrishikh

Alright, the FSI Programmatic on this site has a lot of units with only tape a and no tape b. Is this the way the course is structured, or are these tapes missing?
There do not seem to be any tapes missing in the course; some of the units may simply not be very audio-intensive, and thus have just one tape.

Posted By: Wings
Date Posted: 22 June 2007 at 4:11am

Hi, I was just wondering.  Do we know when Sir Nigel is going to post the first transcript of the FSI basic course?

Posted By: daristani
Date Posted: 23 June 2007 at 12:11pm
I'm afraid I have no idea when Sir Nigel may finish his work on the Basic Spanish course, if indeed he's still working on it.  I'd suggest you send him a personal message to see how he's coming along.  If he doesn't respond, or has for whatever reason been unable to finish the project, I'd make two possible suggestions:

1) As I recall, at least the first portion of the textbook was at one time posted on the site; gdfellows might be prevailed upon to repost at least that much while the rest of the course is being worked on.

2) If Sir Nigel for whatever reason can't digitize the materials he has, perhaps he might be willing to provide them to someone else with a scanner to process, or split them up with someone else so as to share the load. (Note that the Basic Spanish book is very long, and thus the job of digitizing it is not one to be taken on lightly.)  But given the number of people interested in Spanish, it would make sense to me to try find some way to make the materials available if Sir Nigel has run into problems.  (Note that I mean no criticism of Sir Nigel; he's been a stalwart supporter of, and contributor to, the site, and deserves a lot of thanks for all the work he's already done, totally aside from the Spanish Basic Course.)

In the meantime, remember that the materials for the Spanish Basic Course are available at, although not in the full text form.   

Posted By: Wings
Date Posted: 25 June 2007 at 5:31am

I have to say Sir Nigel is doing a great job digitizing the text, itís flawless.  I have printed and bound some materials and it is as good as a book.  I would love to help as you have suggested, however, I only have a Lexmark X1190.  Iím not sure if this is good enough for the job and Iím not sure whether I have the correct Know-how and software.

Tough, I do have the summer off until I start collage again in September - - with nothing to do. Perhaps I can help - who knows - if not all or most of the text has already been digitized.

Thanks a million for your reply and advice.

Posted By: bobblast
Date Posted: 26 September 2007 at 2:27pm
where did you obtain the pimsluer programs?  My mp3 player died and my copies with it and then my desktop hard drive got fried. 

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