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review: Introductory Chinese - Reading comprehension

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Silent

From the free give-away 2nd round this is my review of Introductory Chinese - Reading comprehension

The book looks modern with almost glossy paper, clear print and green accents on the pages. The book is designed to be used in conjunction with the other books in the series. The back cover claims the book requires about 150 class hours. To me this looks a bit steep unless it's all covered in class with little to no home work

The books contains 44 lessons. The first lesson starts from zero knowledge and builds the level to an estimated HSK6 as virtually all vocabulary I had to look up was HSK6. At the end of the book there's an overall vocabulary list and a list of proper nouns.

The first 8 lessons are mostly in pinyin apart from the recognizing characters section. They start with pronunciation and tones and then become basic conversations. This recognizing characters section looks a bit odd to me as it only contains characters without pronunciation or meaning. From lesson 9 onward the lessons contain 2 or 3 texts in characters, a vocabulary list and a couple of exercises. The exercises are aimed to testing the understanding of the texts and writing exercises and are mostly free form. Them being mostly free form is probably the reason no correct answers are given.

The stories are aimed towards foreign students. The easier stories are understandably pretty much the standard not too interesting fair. Advancing through the lessons the stories get better but don't expect literary works. The writers were goal oriented and created texts that are primarily aimed at language learning.

Overall the book is very pleasant to read due to print quality and clear lay-out. Apart from the reading the exercises are also meant to practice writing. Stand alone the book has a very steep learning curve, but it's supposed to be used in conjunction with the other books of the series.
 

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