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BLCU levels and textbooks

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Could anyone tell me what textbooks do they use at BLCU for short-term language courses?

Do they use those white-and-blue ones ( http://www.blcup.com/en/list_1.asp?id=104 ). If they do, then what lessons are studied at level A and level B? I know about 30 lessons from there, is that enough to get me into the B level?


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The main text for the lower levels is 速成汉语 (Speed-up Chinese, volumes 1-8) from Peking University Press, supplemented by two other BLCU books for the listening and speaking classes.

For the lower placement levels, basically:

  • Lower A levels are for those with zero (or near zero) Chinese beyond simple phrases, may not be familiar with pinyin, know only a few hanzi
  • High A students know pinyin, have good pronunciation, have elementary vocabulary (maybe 200 words), weak hanzi
  • Lower B level students have more vocabulary (maybe 500+ words) including their hanzi

There's a continuum of sub-levels from A to F. What separates the highest A level (A13 this semester) from B1 is the amount of hanzi they're comfortable with. Many A13 students have good vocabulary but can't read or write very well, either because they only learned pinyin in school or they're overseas Chinese with little formal training.

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Thank you, peekay! That was a great answer! :)

I was especially glad to hear that they have so many sub-levels. I guess they will find something suitable for me :)

I'm going to take two 4-week courses this summer. Somewhere on this forum I found a message that they use 说汉语 for level B (I imagine this one: http://www.blcup.com/list_info.asp?id=2048) Although this message was published a couple of years ago.

Do you know if all lower-level classes now use 速成汉语 or if maybe it depends on the length of the program / teacher?

I have not been studying any Chinese for 5 years and want to revise. I just thought it would be a good idea to study the book that I will have to study in BLCU.

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Hmm, good question!

The textbook choice does not depend on the teacher. It could depend on the program length but I don't know for sure honestly. 速成汉语 is what's currently being used by the semester-length students in the "College of Intensive Chinese Studies".

The series is fairly new, first published in 2007. (According to the preface, the series is based on an older set called "Chinese Crash Course"). It's possible that the college only recently standardized on this series.

Hopefully someone in a shorter-length program will be able to further clarify.

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  • 2 months later...


I was wondering, what to expect, about which level do you think I would be placed in? Passed HSK Basic (=level 3), studied for about one and a half year, knowing around 1500+ words, good reading skills, now studying the book 汉语教程 第二册 下. I would be happy about a level C, to be honest, but I don´t know whether that´s too advanced.

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For those interested, I´ve found this on the net about BLCU levels and textbooks. Hope it helps! :clap

Six Levels: A-F

Level A: is for beginners. This course includes the study of Chinese pinyin, basic sentence patterns, Chinese characters, and grammar.

Level B: is for students who have some pronunciation training, know about 800 Chinese words, and can speak in simple, daily conversation. Course includes reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It focuses on Chinese pinyin, daily conversation, improving listening skills, reading skills, and writing exercises.

Level C: is for students who know about 1500 Chinese words and basic sentence patterns, as well as able to engage in daily conversation. This course is more extensive in building skills: listening, writing, reading, and speaking abilities. Build vocabulary, continuing to study sentence patterns and grammar, intensify reading exercises, and understand the meaning and usage of words.

Level D: is for students who know at least 2500 Chinese words, and have a system of knowledge of Chinese grammar, as well as able to speak in daily conversation at a higher level than Level 3. There will be high emphasis on building listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

Level E: is for students who know about 3500 Chinese words, and can engage in more complicated discussions, as well as give short speeches.

Level F: is for students with a vocabulary larger than 4000 Chinese words and can express detailed ideas in daily conversation.

CURRICULUM - texbooks


Intensive Chinese Course (Elementary Level)

Intensive Chinese Speaking-Beginner

Intensive Chinese Listening (Elementary Level)


Intensive Chinese Course(Elementary Level)

Intensive Chinese Speaking-Basic

Intensive Chinese Listening-Basic Intensive Chinese Listening (Elementary Level)


Shortcut-Intermediate Intensive Chinese

Intensive Chinese Speaking-Enhancement

Intensive Chinese Listening-Enhancement Intensive Chinese Listening and Speaking

Intensive Chinese Reading-Basic Intensive Chinese Reading-Enhancement


Bridge-Practical Intermediate Chinese Shortcut-Advanced Intensive Chinese

Intensive Chinese Speaking-Intermediate

Intensive Chinese Listening-Intermediate

Intensive Chinese Reading-Intermediate


Contemporary Advanced Chinese

Intensive Chinese Speaking-Advanced

Intensive Chinese Listening-Advanced

Intensive Chinese Reading-Advanced

(just a note: I have found some books on the BLCU Press site, but some not, so the English titles may not fit)

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For the regular semester program, basically the course follows 8-volumes of 速成汉语 (mentioned above) as the main text. This text is supplemented with other books for speaking & listening classes.

Each main 速成汉语 volume has 10 chapters, with roughly 400-450 new words in total.

Each BLCU level correspond to roughly 2-volumes (for placement purposes). So A level starts at Volume 1, while B level starts at Volume 3, and C level starts at Volume 5, etc.

In a semester course expect to complete around 2 1/2 volumes (25 chapters), but some classes move slower/faster than others. So if you finish level A and immediately start level B, there will be some overlap (about half a chapter, good for review.)


Level A: starts with 0 words, (book Volume 1). Finishes somewhere in Volume 3 (say 1000 words).

Level A+: starts with 400 words, (book Volume 2). Finishes somewhere in Volume 4 (~ 1500 words).

Level B: starts with 800 words, (book Volume 3). Finishes somewhere in Volume 5 (~ 1800 words.)

...and so on.

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wrbt: Peking University uses this series in its language program for foreign students I used the Beginner level hanyu and kouyu books and liked them; the dialogues are practical and contemporary. I don't recall hearing any of the students ever complaining about these textbooks.

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Just found this:


The following textbooks were written by teachers of the International College for Chinese Language Studies of Peking University and were published by Peking University Press in 2004 and 2005 (second edition).

The elementary level

Elementary Spoken Chinese 1 (for beginners)

Elementary Spoken Chinese 2 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 500 words)

Elementary Spoken Chinese 3 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 1,000 words)

The intermediate level

Intermediate Spoken Chinese 1 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 2,000 words)

Intermediate Spoken Chinese 2 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 3,000 words)

Intermediate Spoken Chinese 3 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 4,000 words)

The advanced level

Pre-advanced Spoken Chinese 1 & 2 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 4,500 words)

Advanced Spoken Chinese 1 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 5,000 words)

Advanced Spoken Chinese 2 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 6,000 words)

Advanced Spoken Chinese 3 (for students who have a vocabulary of about 7,000 words)

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  • 1 year later...

I've been working thru the "advanced 1" of this series and weirdness is it certainly doesn't seem like a progression of the "intermediate 3" book that I finished before it. I mean I can manage it but I recall the last intermediate one not being too much of a challenge, whereas this first advanced one is definitely taking some effort to digest.

But as a mini-review: these books follow the familiar dialog-vocab-exercises pattern, the included audio is outstanding in quality, and the content is okay nothing really interesting but useful for learning Chinese.

One thing they do that I hate is some words are designated vocabulary list words, whereas others are segregated into a different section of terms to focus on on with their own explanations. Really it's all vocab though, and the decision of what goes where seems almost arbitrary at times, the pain being when you're going thru the dialog you have to look in two places for definitions since you can't always guess whether something is considered a vocab item or a special term. Minor nit, but hey.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • New Members

Anyone know of any vocabulary lists or flashcard systems already prepared for the BLCU textbooks (especially Speak Chinese / Intermediate Listening and Speaking)? I have searched around online and have yet to find any. Any ideas to save me the time of preparing flashcards myself?


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  • 3 months later...
  • 7 years later...
  • New Members



I'm considering the BLCU Chinese progam for 1 semester (20h/week class). I heard some say that in the lower class (A, B, etc) are dominated by Black, White, Indians, Arabs, etc... while upper-class (D or higher) are full of Japanese and Korean with some Chinese-descent Westerners but is this true? I also heard that any classes are dominated by Korean and not many Japanese these days, but not sure if that is true.


My current Chinese level is between HSK 5 and 6. In this level of class, approximately how many are Japanese, Korean, and others?

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