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A new book for learning chinese - ideas


LinzF
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I am part of a company investigating the possibility of a new book to teach chinese to learners in the western world (England, Canada, USA and Australia. It would be great to know your thoughts and idea-

1. What country do you live in?

2. What books/resources do you use?

3. What would you most want from a new book (online resources/MP3/better grammer)

4. Are you a self learner or at a school? If at a school, which one?

5. How do you get hold of you books?

6. Which market is most in need of new books (children under 7, children between 7-14, adult learners, students)

7. What are the most popular textbooks teaching mandarin?

8. What are the shortfalls of most textbooks? Whta would you like more of? (Better grammer, a linked website etc)

9. Would you value the use of mp3 resources with a textbook?

10. Would you be interested in trialing a new textbook.

11. Do you know the most up to date figures on how many people are learning mandarin across the world? Or in your own country

Thanks for all your help.

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Few ideas :

  • Definitely all text should have its MP3, but also all that is written in the book (exercises, examples…) should come with MP3.
  • For each new word, there should be at least 3 examples also recorded on MP3 (like they do on ChinesePod).
  • It would be also interesting to have at the end of the book a review of all the characters that have been studied, and for each character, the list of words using this character (whatever its position) + the lesson where it has been studied --> I have never seen that in any book
  • One good idea used by Bellassen books (at least for beginners) is to be sure that the first 1000 characters in frequency of use are reviewed in let's say the first 2 volumes

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Lots of material per lesson. There should be enough to provide many opportunities to use the words AND the characters introduced, as well as a good cycle of review for past words and characters.

The books should be available as electronic books, so that items can be bookmarked and searched. Provide vocabulary lists on your site to go with the books, for loading into study programs.

A second companion reader, with stories that use just the vocabulary to date, with interesting items to read. Some cultural stories that "everyone" in china knows, some articles, etc.

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1. What country do you live in?

The UK

2. What books/resources do you use?

Hanyu Jiancheng and new practical Chinese reader, as well as elementary Chinese readers, and several grammar books for examples and explanation.

3. What would you most want from a new book (online resources/MP3/better grammer)

All the above, MP3 would be essential in my humble opinion. And a very good explanation of grammar and usage of the language too.

4. Are you a self learner or at a school? If at a school, which one?

Both really, I study at Uni but also do a bit extra by my self to help with learning...

5. How do you get hold of you books?

Either through the Uni (first year) or in China, or online (esp amazon)

6. Which market is most in need of new books (children under 7, children between 7-14, adult learners, students)

all of the above again, I think if a very good series of Chinese text books came onto the market covering all areas it could do very well... but if I had to choose one I would say adult students, but I am slightly biased in that regard.

7. What are the most popular textbooks teaching mandarin?

Not sure here as I dont teach sorry...

8. What are the shortfalls of most textbooks? Whta would you like more of? (Better grammer, a linked website etc)

No mp3 recordings that are clear and have both male and female voices, that cover the material in the books AND provide further material to aid listening skills, Grammar explanations need to be thorough and have plenty of examples... Language usage also needs to be explained more fully...

9. Would you value the use of mp3 resources with a textbook?

Oh my gosh yes... highly...

10. Would you be interested in trialing a new textbook.

definitely...

11. Do you know the most up to date figures on how many people are learning mandarin across the world? Or in your own country

Sorry Cannot help you here...

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I am speaking specially for children learning chinese (not adults) and in my opinion, MP3 may not be that attractive to them. The challenge that we faced in European country (learning chinese as a 2nd language) is chinese learning materials that is fun for children to fall for to learn the language is pretty limited. We found one particular quite interesting one is in form of CD-rom title: Mandarin Magic published by A-Star Interactive. There is 2 volume - Mandarin Magic Vol 1 and Vol 2. Vol 1 cover basic counting, identifying colours, basic body parts and Vol 2 cover identify family relatives and so on. The attractive part of "A-Star Mandarin Magic" is it enhance the learning experience by games etc which is fun for kids.

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