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HedgePig

"Reading China" Graded Readers

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HedgePig

This weekend I came across a series of graded readers called "Reading China" which I think some people might be interested in. There seem to be five levels with more than one book at each level. The stories or dialogues are very short but there are 25 of them. Each one is a rather like a mini-lesson, with the text and vocab, a couple of grammar points and a few questions as well as a rather fluffy "cultural tips" section. There is also an audio CD which isn't of great quality but is adequate.

What I really find appealing is the very shortness of each text. This makes it very suitable for someone who doesn't always have a lot of time at one stretch to sit down and work through a full length lesson. Since the texts are short the new vocab list is also not intimidating. You could easily finish a lesson over lunch.

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HedgePig

Just to add a few more details.....

The series is published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP). According to the preface, the details for each level are as follows:

Level Text Length No. of Texts Vocab

1 100-150 25 500

2 150-300 25 1000

3 300-550 25 2000

4 500-750 20 3500

5 700-1200 18 5000

I think the vocab refers to the expected number of words (not characters) which someone at that level should know. The bookstore I visited only had volumes 2A and B and 3A and B. Level 2 has pinyin but level 3 doesn't. The stories do not have a a full English translation.

In case it helps, the ISBN number for Level 2B 978-7-5600-8235-6 and the price (in China) is 39元.

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Xiao Kui

Sounds like a great idea. I attribute my being able to read pretty dang fluently to learning with a graded reader that had short, conquerable articles. I felt like I was making progress because I was able to get through a lesson each day so felt encouraged to keep at it and finished the whole series. Also, the new vocab were genuinely useful words - i think mine was only a 4 book series and a little outdated (I used it 9 yrs ago), but I actually saw it in the bookstore a few weeks ago, so I'll jot down the title next time I see it in case anyone wants to check it out.

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abcdefg

Thanks very much. This series might be just what I’m looking for. I’ll check it out.

I'm an elementary reader and recently have been using a few of the thin, green story books by the same company, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing. Several bookstores here in Kunming carry them as tools for Chinese students of English. They have the English text on one side and Hanzi on the page opposite. I select titles based on how easy the English text is. My current library includes “The Wizard of Oz” and “Short Stories by O. Henry.”

These small story books are graded as to difficulty, and even color coded with a band at the top. "Wizard of Oz" is graded "适合初一,初二年级" and is pretty simple. The O. Henry is graded one step higher and is more challenging.

Furthermore, these thin green books are cheap (under 5 RMB each..) The back page carries the publisher's web address as http://www.fltrp.com

Edited by abcdefg
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HedgePig

Hello abcdefg

That sounds quite interesting - I've seem similar books aimed at Chinese students learning English but I haven't found any readers at my level. I really like a full translation because even if I believe I've understood the Chinese, I'm not always certain that I have understood it exactly correctly. Are the English translations any good? (One would hope so if they're aimed at students of English......)

Do you have any other details, e.g. ISBN numbers?

Regards

HedgePig

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abcdefg
I really like a full translation because even if I believe I've understood the Chinese, I'm not always certain that I have understood it exactly correctly. Are the English translations any good?

These stories are not English translations. They are stories originally written in English, presented in their entirety. The layout has English on one page and the Chinese translation on the page opposite. .

I take it that you are trying to order these from someplace abroad, not just buy them in China. If in China, simply go to the nearest major bookstore and hunt them up by name. Most bookstores here have a display of 20 or 30 different titles all in one location since they seem to be popular with Chinese learners of English. I've seen them in the bookstores of many Chinese cities.

Short exercises and quizzes at the end of the book are in English only. No bells and whistles such as CD's.

ISBN of Wizard is 978-7-5600-3613-7; and for O. Henry it's 978-7-5600-6821-3.

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roddy

That's the 书虫 series - pretty sure I used those as well, way back when. Here's the category on Amazon.cn. Dirt cheap, so if you find them useful you can really load up.

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HedgePig

Thanks a-g and Roddy

If they contain the entire original English story, then they definitely are well above me level! I incorrectly assumed from a-g's original description that they were simplified. Still, something to look forward to one day.

Regards

HedgePig

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roddy

They're abridged - Frankenstein, for example, is only 91 pages, and that's for both languages. The editors will naturally have paid more attention to the pitching of the English than the Chinese, but it's not going to be as complex as a full translation.

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abcdefg
If they contain the entire original English story, then they definitely are well above me level! I incorrectly assumed from a-g's original description that they were simplified.

Don't forget that they are clearly graded as to difficulty on a colored band across the top of the cover. The Wizard of Oz" is going to be easier than "Sherlock Holmes."

I'm a really low-level reader and I find I can still stumble through and get the gist of things. I underline recurring words which I don't know and look them up later when I get near an on-line dictionary. Not a perfect system, but these little books still constitute a refreshing supplement to a steady diet of "Mike and Mary go to the post office."

At less than 5 RMB each, you don't have much to lose by trying one or two.

Edited by abcdefg
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abcdefg
If they contain the entire original English story, then they definitely are well above me level! I incorrectly assumed from a-g's original description that they were simplified.

Don't forget that they are clearly graded as to difficulty on band across the top of the cover. They are even color coded to make selection a snap. "The Wizard of Oz" is going to be easier than "Sherlock Holmes."

I'm a really low-level reader and I find I can still stumble through and get the gist of things. I underline recurring words which I don't know and look them up later when I get near an on-line dictionary. Not a perfect system, but they are a refreshing supplement to a steady diet of "Mike and Mary go to the post office."

At less than 5 RMB each, you don't have much to lose by trying one or two.

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querido

The audio of the FLTRP series (original thread topic) has a total playing time of [edit: about 11.4 hours]. HedgePig said the audio "isn't of great quality but is adequate". I think it's top quality myself. It's about exactly the same as the Graded Chinese Reader series in quality and speed.

As the OP said, these are thin ~110-120pp each and with a lot of white space. But they're nicely illustrated, which is helpful, and each lesson has "new words", "language points", "exercises", and another little piece about a paragraph long - "Cultural Tips" - whose audio is also provided.

These are more expensive - per word, per minute - than Graded Chinese Reader, but for a beginner they would probably be more easily digested.

The following is with listening comprehension in mind, as I've posted recently:

Longer stories (Graded Chinese Reader, Chinese Breeze) can better resist memorization, so you're forced to comprehend on the fly instead of recalling the memory of e.g. a podcast playing in your mind. (Does that make sense to anybody?) So, this FLTRP series would be like a podcast in that regard, but that's good too. Little expensive though.

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