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Some Questions about BLCU Bachelors textbooks


yingguoguy
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I've been working in China and studying Chinese part-time for three years now. I worked my way through lots of text books in the first couple of years, however I kind of progressed passed the level of most introductory series of textbooks. So for the last year or so have been studying by trying to read childrens books and newspaper and listening to the ChinesePod upper-intermediate/advanced lessons. Recently I've felt that I needed a more structured way of studying, so on a recent visit to Tianjin I bought a whole bunch of the BLCU textbooks for their bachelors courses (thats 对外汉语本科系列教材 from 北京语言大学出版实社) for second and third year students.

I bought:

2nd Year

汉语阅读教程

报刊语言教程

中国人文地理

3rd Year

中国国情

当代中国经济

I've started to work my way though them, and although they're a little dry, they're about right for my level (2nd year a little too easy, 3rd year a little too difficult). I have a few questions for anyone who might have studied at BLCU or somewhere else that uses these text books.

1) I can't find any formal course plan on the BLCU website, it may be behind one of the login screens. I'd really like to know things like: which classes are mandatory in the 2rd, 3rd, 4th years and which courses are optional? How many optional courses are you expected to do each year? How many class hours are assigned to each course? Are there any prerequisites for the book, for example do I need to have studied the ancient chinese course to study the philosophy course? The books describe the course structure at the beginning but it seems rather vague.

2) It seems from reading the course website that students are supposed to have HSK level 3 before enroling, which would mean that on receiving the BA they would have probably studied for the equivalent of 5 years rather than 4. Is this right?

3) How was the workload and did you find the course too easy or too difficult? Over the four years did it move too quickly or too slowly?

4) I've concentrated on reading textbooks so far. How are the listening, speaking and writing courses? Do you think they would be suitable out of the class room environment?

5) Which courses did you enjoy most and would recommend?

The exact course at BLCU doesn't really matter too much to me as I'll only be doing the courses I'm interested in at the speed which suits me, but it would be nice for me if I could give myself targets of being able to say that I'd done the self-study equivalent of the first 2, 3 or eventually all 4 years of the BA, and be able to compair my (naturally slower) progress to full-time students.

I've looked for a lot of this stuff on the BLCU website already and drawn a blank, I've also do a few searches on this website, but there are a lot of BLCU threads and I couldn't find too much that was relevant. Sorry if I've missed it somewhre or some of this stuff has already been answered.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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It's been some years since I graduated, so the memory isn't perfect. (also haven't installed an IME on this system, so no characters)

2nd Year:

2 Required Courses:

1) Zonghe ke (Qiaoliang shang/xia) ~16h/week

2)Tingli Ke (A tingli book for 2nd year students) ~4h/week

2 optional courses:

1) Yuedu ke (汉语阅读教程)

2) Baokan ke (报刊语言教程 - for 2nd year students)

3) other courses (I took the two above and don't remember the other offerings)

3rd Year: Pick your major (at that time: Culture, Language, Econ/Finance, Translation (Kor/Jap/Eng) where the choices, but they offer more majors now)

Depending on your major you had at least 1 required course:

1) Zonghe ke

Other majors had courses like; economics (using a translation of Gregory Mankiw's book: http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Macroeconomics-N-Gregory-Mankiw/dp/0324236956/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238023613&sr=8-1); translation

Optional courses: lots including Ancient Chinese, Modern Chinese History, 中国国情, Ancienct Chinese history (for the second semester), etc. You could also take courses from other majos depending on your time schedule. In total ~20h of classes

4th Year: 1 required course in your major. Many optional classes. Second semester is mostly spent writing a thesis.

How was it: Let me say first that I think BLCU has the best trained teachers. You can learn a lot just through osmosis with some of their instructors. But the current methodology for advanced Mandarin is pretty week. My textbooks for 3rd year Zonghe was a little bit harder than 2nd year (Qiao Liang); 4th year was a little harder than 3rd year. My 3rd year teacher was quite good, and he asked students in my major (Culture) to write quite a lot. Classes also required students to interact and express themselves more than other majors. But in my opinion the second half of my 3rd year and all of my 4th year was essentially a throwaway.

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Thanks for the info,

I'll look into getting the Zonghe and Tingli course books, though I might substitute advanced ChinesePod lessons for the listening. I don't remember seeing the Zonghe textbooks. Then it seems I'd be doing more than necessary for the 2nd year, with reading, newpaper reading AND geography, and also doing the 3rd year 中国国情.

So no mandatory writing or speaking courses eh?

Thanks again,

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