Contemporary Chinese for Heritage Learners: An Introductory Text: Simplified Character Version
This is a unique, comprehensive textbook especially designed for beginners of Chinese as a heritage language at the college level. It covers basic grammar, vocabulary, orthography, and pragmatic, social as well as cultural aspects of the Chinese language. Unlike most Chinese language textbooks for beginners, this communication-based course book is set in the cultural context of the United States rather than in China. The book takes students on a journey of self-discovery along with two fictional characters with whom they can closely identify. The language is kept simple and authentic with common vocabulary and useful expressions reoccurring throughout the book. Best used with a learner-centered and interactive approach, this book is an ideal classroom textbook as well as an enjoyable and stimulating self-study workbook that can be used in one semester or one year. To make the material accessible to students, this book is organized into seven thematic units with two related chapters each, carefully sequenced in terms of relevance and degree of difficulty. Each chapter contains a dialogue between the two fictional characters and a narrative by one of these characters on the same topic. The same format is kept throughout the book. The core vocabulary and common sentence patterns are recycled throughout the book to maximize retention. The number of new vocabulary words is controlled at an average of 42 per chapter (28 for dialogues and 14 for narratives), so as not to overwhelm the learner. This book introduces approximately 600 most frequently used Chinese characters and vocabulary words. To fully engage students in the learning process, this book also offers a variety of fun, interactive learning tasks related to the topic of each chapter. These activities include drawing, singing, games, role-plays/skits, mini-speeches, conversations, group debates and discussions, etc. that can be carried out individually, in pairs, in groups, or as a class respectively. These communicative activities take language learning away from rote memorization to active creation and application in real-life situations. In addition to text, vocabulary and activities, this all-in-one textbook and workbook features Chinese character explanations, grammar notes, cultural information pronunciation drills, sentence pattern drills, and exercises. These features allow students to practice what they have learned in class as well as to study the target language on their own. By the end of this book, students will be able to conduct everyday conversations about some common topics in Mandarin Chinese, read and write short paragraphs about these topics, and gain a better appreciation of Chinese culture and the history of Chinese people in America. It is hoped that by studying this book, students will take pride in their Chinese-American heritage and identity, laying a solid foundation for further study in the Chinese language. This book has been adopted by the State University of New York at Stony Brook for many years and has been proven to be highly interesting, easy to use, and effective.
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