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Which textbooks do they use at Tsinghua?


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First of all I can't express how awesome I think the Boya textbooks are. I self studied Boya upper intermediate 1, 2 (took about a year), prior to going to Tsinghua and then I worked through Boya Advanced 1 and 2 (took only one month). There is really hardly a difference in difficulty between Boya upper intermediate two and Advanced 1 and 2 and I think all of the 4 books mentioned above are excellent, with challenging vocabulary and basically prepares you to take on anything that isn't all out wen yan wen. I highly recommend working through all of those books no matter what texts you end up using later. They are very literary and I still refer back to them frequently to refine my language use. 

 

To answer your question though, when I was there they used a book series called 发展汉语 for the advanced classes. I was enrolled in Tsinghua's advanced level 2 class for a semester and they used 发展汉语 advanced 2 for reading, writing, and speaking. Those books are jam packed with useful vocabulary and very succinct professional language, yet were a piece of cake in terms of difficulty after having finished most of the boya series. That being said I still learned a lot and there is great content in those books too, just less challenging. Everything worked out perfectly because as it turned out for the final semester at Tsinghua the instructor chose Boya advanced 3, and I was able to complete the entire series.  

 

I hope that helps!

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They don't use just one series of books. At least in my experience of elementary, pre-intermediate and intermediate levels.

We did have BOYA for the comprehensive class at pre-int and elementary. That was it for BOYA. For speaking we were using "short term intensive speaking" for two of the levels I mention. Int reading used the series 发展汉语. Off the top of my head this is all I can remember.

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At intermediate only 1 book is Fa Zhan Han Yu out of 4. None are BOYA.

At elementary and pre-int, only 1 was BOYA and the rest were all different series.

So, not really a combination of those two at all.

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  • 1 month later...

Developing Chinese 发展汉语 is the standard used in most 4 year degree programs in China, especially for the Comprehensive and Reading courses. Boya is extremely similar in layout and stories, but perhaps a bit more challenging when it comes to the workbook, in my experience. They have been used at times to supplement the other books when the teachers finish the standard book early in the semester, and Boya books are often used in the non-degree programs.

I recommend the Developing Chinese series, they are fairly complete, and will make it easy to learn all the words and grammar required for the HSK should you take it one day.

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  • 6 months later...
On 1/7/2016 at 2:12 PM, dandmcd said:

Developing Chinese 发展汉语 is the standard used in most 4 year degree programs in China, especially for the Comprehensive and Reading courses. Boya is extremely similar in layout and stories, but perhaps a bit more challenging when it comes to the workbook, in my experience. They have been used at times to supplement the other books when the teachers finish the standard book early in the semester, and Boya books are often used in the non-degree programs.

I recommend the Developing Chinese series, they are fairly complete, and will make it easy to learn all the words and grammar required for the HSK should you take it one day.

@dandmcd thanks for your suggestion. I'm looking at "developing chinese" books on amazon.cn (hoping to save some money) instead of buying them from amazon.com or other websites. I hope shipping fee won't be too high, anyway I'll check before purchasing the books. Any other cheap alternative for buying them? I live in Italy.

Anyway I passed HSK 2 a couple of years ago and I think my level is around HSK 3 and I'd like to attempt HSK 4 exam in March if I'll be ready. I guess I may skip the elementary level books and get intermediate level. Right? Then I see there is "intermediate speaking course", "intermediate comprehensive course", "intermediate listening course", "intermediate reading course", "intermediate writing course", "intermediate reading and writing course". I guess the comprehensive course should include every area and could be the book to use for starting. Should I purchase all these books? How are these books supposed to be used? Do you think it's possible to self study using these books (although it's obvious that having a teacher is of great help)? Are the books completely in Chinese or contain English and Chinese?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

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Well I know people have, I found self-studying from the developing Chinese series to cumbersome. It required too much online supplementation. I had studied the same book with a teacher previously and loved it.

 

Never did pinpoint what the cause of this was. Perhaps, I just needed the motivation a teacher grants.

 

For self-study, I've found a combination of The Chairman's Bao, Grammar Wiki, graded readers (especially if they have audio recordings to practice listening to and shadowing), and podcasts like slow chinese and popup chinese to do better. 

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4 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

For self-study, I've found a combination of The Chairman's Bao, Grammar Wiki, graded readers (especially if they have audio recordings to practice listening to and shadowing), and podcasts like slow chinese and popup chinese to do better.

 

That's what I've been trying to do and I think that's a good advice. I'll keep on doing it.

 

I seldom used a textbook, though it could provide a structured learning path, so I was trying to decide which one to buy (if any) since there are quite a few and generally a bit expensive (especially if purchased abroad). I've been self studying and I actually feel I'd need a teacher to progress more quickly and pinpoint my mistakes in order to fix them. There is a Confucius institute in my area (about 1 hour far) though and I'm looking for a job, so distance and available time might not be the best. So I'm looking into online classes which would be more flexible. I saw there is eblcu.net offering classes from BLCU teachers, though the hourly rate is expensive (but reasonable if quality is assured) anyway it seems it's possible to book only a big batch of classes at a time from the website (I haven't tried to inquire personally by email about that). I might try Italki, there are also some professional teachers graduated in teaching Chinese as a second language and others with a bachelor degree in English language but teaching Chinese :) (they might be good as well or even better, but we need to carefully select the teacher I believe). Since it's possible to book also a single class, it may be worth to try a few teachers and then stick to the one you prefer. Have you tried Italki for professional classes? What's your experience?

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I have only done language exchange on italki, so I can't speak to the professional teachers on there.

 

If you are at the intermediate level then I'd recommend the intermediate level Chinese courses on edX for a structured study. I found both of them to be very good.

 

You can also pay for a professional teacher to help you assess your oral weak points and use practice HSK tests without a timer to do reading, writing, listening. Then once you know your level more accurately, develop your own curriculum. I'd be willing to help you develop your own curriculum with clear goals once you know more precisely where you are at currently.

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I guess my level is intermediate or pre-intermediate, definitely not a beginner, but I'm not sure I mastered the relative grammar 100%. My pronunciation isn't bad, not perfect though for all sounds I'm afraid. I can recognize practically all the characters I studied but I can write only a few. I'll ask an online teacher to assess my level, I wish I could easily find Chinese teachers near me. I already planned to take "intermediate Chinese grammar" on edx although I wanted to wait because in the prerequisites section there's written "You are supposed to have learned more than 1500 words and the basic Chinese grammar." but maybe I could try it already and learn new words on the go. I already finished "Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People" on edx and it was very easy for me, though I liked it because it's highly practical. I'm currently taking "Chinese Characters for beginner" on Coursera that should teach how to write 1500 characters. Then I'd like to take the business Chinese course and the intermediate business Chinese course on edx. Did you refer to the intermediate courses I mentioned or something else?

Now I'm learning HSK 4 wordlist and I'll have to learn the relative grammar using the grammar wiki and I also purchased "HSK standard course 4" (4a and 4b, 2 volumes) and I'm willing to read some graded readers (I have a few mandarin companion ones, unfortunately there isn't audio, anyway they are still very good).

Thanks for offering your help.

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