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Any Recommendation for Beginner Mandarin textbooks/materials?


lingshu8
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My wife (who is Chinese) is planning to start teaching free Mandarin classes in our community.  We live in a rural part of the Southern U.S. and most of her students will probably be elderly retirees who have a casual interest in learning some Mandarin.  If there is interest, she may teach some children as well.  Classes will probably be small, and she may do some private lessons.

 

Does anyone have recommendations for a textbook for this kind of class?  A complete course that includes audio-visual material, exercise workbooks, etc. would be nice, but not necessary.  I started studying Mandarin way back in the 1980's, so I am not familiar with the latest teaching materials.

 

Any suggestions (and perhaps a few comments explaining the reasons for your recommendation) would be greatly appreciated!

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I have been thinking about your question/s and found myself wanting to ask some questions.

 

1) As they are free lessons, who will pay for the textbooks etc? (I ask because I don't want suggest things that are not feasible)

2) Do they have access to the internet and the skills to use it?

3) Are the children very young or perhaps 10 - 12 year olds for example.

4) Are any of the learners heritage learners, do they have any prior knowledge or exposure to Chinese?

 

I hope you understand why I am asking these questions and if you can't or don't want to answer, that's ok, I will just do the best I can with what we have :)

 

I do have some suggests but their usefulness will depend on the answers.

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Most foreigners use books from BLCU, they're quite good and range from beginner, intermediate to advanced. The books come with CDs. But for visual learning, I suggest downloading episodes of CCTV's 快乐汉语 programme.

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Shelley wrote:


 


1) As they are free lessons, who will pay for the textbooks etc? (I ask because I don't want suggest things that are not feasible)


 


Things are still in the planning stages right now.  The students will probably pay for their own textbooks.  Though we may be able to make arrangements for the cost of the textbooks to be subsidized.


 


2) Do they have access to the internet and the skills to use it?


 


Initially, there will probably NOT be internet in the classroom, but the students may have access at home.  There will be a TV and DVD player in the classroom.


 


3) Are the children very young or perhaps 10 - 12 year olds for example.


 


If there is interest, we may add kids' classes later.  But right now we are looking at materials for adults.  However, I'd love to hear any recommendations for children's Chinese materials that we might use later.


 


4) Are any of the learners heritage learners, do they have any prior knowledge or exposure to Chinese?


 


Probably most of them have had no exposure to Chinese.


 


shuoshuo wrote:


Most foreigners use books from BLCU, they're quite good and range from beginner, intermediate to advanced. The books come with CDs. 


 


Is this the BLCU series?


http://www.amazon.com/Speed-Up-Chinese-revised-Simplified-Chinese-English/dp/7301068905


 


I suggest downloading episodes of CCTV's 快乐汉语 programme


 


I checked that out on Youtube.  It looks really good.  Are there any textbooks that tie in with that show?


 


Thanks for the feedback so far!


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BLCU has a ton of different series. I'd say 发展汉语 is pretty solid as a series, though I have a couple of issues with some of them - for example, the advanced 阅读 has an excessive ammount of inline pinyin and English (I'd say the ideal amount of inline pinyin and English is zero, but it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't used so liberally). Also some of the higher level ones do get a little propaganda-ey. I actually haven't seen any of the elementary ones, but worth checking out.

 

The first Chinese textbook I used (when I took a couple of Chinese modules back in England) was Chinese in Steps, published by Sinolingua London. I seem to remember thinking that was a good textbook at the time, though unfortunately I can't seem to find my copy to have a look with a more critical eye!

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I too would recommend Chinese in Steps, I used these text books at my university evening class. They come with audio discs and have exercises in the lessons.

 

If you would like something a bit more involved I would recommend New Practical Chinese Reader (NPCR). There are videos available on YouTube, audio discs, workbooks, and answer keys. I use this textbook now and really like it.

 

I can't really make any recommendations for any texts for children, but a quick search on the forums brought up several treads on that topic.

 

I hope this goes well for you all and that everyone enjoys it :)

 

 

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