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Beginner Textbooks and Vocabulary


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I've just finished a four month intensive course in Beijing, studying both NPRC 1, 2, 3, and Boya Chinese 1, and half of 2. Its been a whole lot of characters and grammar, and over the next three weeks of vacation I plan to review these words.

My school uses several different books to teach beginners, including the above mentioned and Chinese Made Easier, however what's struck me is that in all of these books vocabulary is introduced in the most bizarre way. They all use dialogue as they're main teaching method, which makes the vocabulary a bit one dimensional. I remember learning left and forward first, only learning right a few chapters later.

Why is this? It seems that these books don't particularly work well for building a working vocabulary. Are there any suggestions for books which I could purchase around here to that are more topic based, with a heavy focus on building a strong vocabulary.

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Several other books are more topic based.

Last week, we received a review on this book:

Talk Chinese Series: Emergency Talk (with Mp3)


There are a few moments which I would call epiphanies in my chinese learning process. The first was when I discovered plecodict and bought a palm. The second was when I bought Wenlin software for my laptop. The third was when I bought (and then finally figured out) Supermemo software. The fourth, and perhaps most important, was when I discovered this series of books. After looking at them (at the BLCU bookstore) for 5 minutes, I bought the whole series. The combination of characters, pinyin, and english altogether is exactly what learners need. The English translations are done well. The words and dialogues are chosen for their practical usefulness. I cannot overemphasize this enough. These books are better than the BLCU New Practical Chinese Reader Series or the TLI Books. They are, quite simply, the most useful books out there.

Say it easily (1) (Chinese-English-Korean-Japanese) (with CD)


Speaking Chinese 200 Situational dialogues (Chinese-English)


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