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Introductory Chinese - Reading Comprehension - REVIEW

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I got this book through the second round of the Singolingua giveaway action,  therefore many thanks  !


My choice :


Introductory Chinese – Reading Comprehension

Author : Du Houwen

Press : SINOLINGUA – Beijing

ISBN : 9787513800938


My review :


I am studying Chinese, therefore I’ll write my review from this point of view and not from the point of view of a teacher.


My first impression of this book is that it’s a nice size for reading. It’s length and width (around 11 ¼ inches by 8 ¼ inches) fits with most other study books.


The large font makes it easy to read, especially with regards to Chinese characters.

This book is a part of a consisting series of six books. The preface gives a good view of the other books (Listening and Speaking, Chinese Character Workbook,…). A complete survey of the compilation of the book is written in the Compiler’s Notes.


A clear table of contents gives an survey of all 44 chapters.


The first eight chapters cover pronunciation and recognition of Chinese characters. These are both important components for learning the Chinese language, so it is indeed important to spread this over several chapters. The level of difficulty is gradually built up throughout these 8 lessons. The pronunciation exercises contain the words with correct tones and an English translation. To my opinion, it was not necessary to add the corresponding Chinese characters (because at this level, it is too difficult to remember them) but when they were included,  it could give extra information in order to increase recognition afterwards.

Using this book in a classroom, teacher can help you with the correct pronunciation. Using this book at home, there is no CD included for listing to the correct pronunciation. But since this book belongs to a series of books, I suppose that in one of the other parts a CD is included which provides the correct pronunciation.


From lesson 9 on, each lesson contains two or three texts. Usually one conversation and one or two narratives. Throughout these lessons the level of difficulty is also gradually built up.


Each lesson contains :

-           After the texts a summary of the new words

-           exercises

-           grammatical points which makes it easier to understand the sentences


The writer has used several interesting topics to build op the lessons. Even cultural aspects are covered. This is important when one wants to learn the language.

The various topics provide the ability to learn new vocabulary related to these topics.

Different grammatical sentence constructions are used to become familiar with the Chinese grammar. This learns us to say the same things in a slightly different way.


At the end of the book there is a complete alphabetical list of all the new words that appear in the book. In addition to these words, Chinese characters, an English translation and the number of the lesson the character was introduced are added.


My opinion :

This is a good book for students who, after studying all the lessons, built up a fair amount of new words, so they will be able to read simple narratives.

By studying this book (well or not in combination with the other books of the series) , I'm convinced that every student will achieve a pretty good level. So yes, I  can recommend this book.


This link will show you the other books in the series.

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