Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

"Beginning Chinese Reader"


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I like the approach of DeFrancis's "Beginning Chinese Reader". The gradual introduction of new characters and new structure, with only a minimum of English along the way, is something I find very engaging. However, I don't want to learn traditional characters right now, and I can't find an edition of this book with simplified characters.

Have I missed the simplified edition, or is there another book using a similar approach and simplified characters that might be suitable?

Thanks for any tips!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

This looks to be an interesting book (not one with which I was previously familiar, but one that I might certainly consider getting), so I looked at the Amazon reviews. The first concludes with the words "I suggest you buy both volumes together because the appendices with stroke order and simplified characters are at the end of the second volume.", so it may simply be that you lack the second volume.

** Phil.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know of anything quite like the Defrancis readers, but they are not available in simplified characters. The closest I can think of to them is Fundamental Written Chinese, by Yao, Lee, and Sanders. The latter has more English than Defrancis, and it uses pinyin when the relevant character hasn't been introduced yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Wow the price is a whopper...yes I was one of the teachers chosen last year to test pilot it. I got all of those materials for free.

I ended up adopting a different textbook for my class because I didn't feel Encounters was appropriate for the students I had at the time. Also my Chinese school as a whole decided to use a different textbook. However the Encounters video culture segments and the character writing workbooks are the best I've seen anywhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Oh, every aspect....each textbook lesson has to have the instructor introduce the vocabulary and sentence pattern, then play a video or audio exercise to elicit students' responses. The instructor has to guide proper responses to each exercise. There would be at least ten or twelve of those in every lesson. The students have to be guided through everything from vocabulary to writing because the instructor has to be present to provide so much instruction, correction, and feedback. Then the readings, they are taken from real life scenarios and some were written in cursive! And this was for a beginning class! So the instructor has to provide some clues as to how a cursive character would resemble a printed character, this would take hours. I ultimately decided not to use this text and switched to something better. One thing I will say the videos about Chinese culture were the best.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...