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New Practical Chinese Reader vs. Integrated Chinese


hdejarne
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Has anyone used these two textbooks and can tell me what some of the differences are? I've heard good things about them both. I've got about a year to self-study chinese before I move to China and I'm looking for a good textbook to work through. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

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I studied with Intergrated Chinese II (中文听说读写) for several months. I found there to be a wide-variety of topics. There is 40-70, sometimes about 80 vocab words in each chapter.

Also, there is a nice incorporation of 成语. I have used pretty much each 成语 that I learned from this book. The illustrations are sometimes silly, but make things less intimidating.

One thing that you might want to know about book is that there is a common mix-up of Simplified and Traditional characters. For example, many times there would be Traditional characters replacing Simplified characters in the text. (The book has its contents in both Simplified and Traditional.) However, some examples of specific word usages are only in Traditional. This is good in that it will make you more accustomed to Traditional characters, which is useful. But for some, it may not be convenient.

The recordings of this book are generally well-done. The vocabulary list will be read aloud, and then the articles themselves will be read aloud. In the recordings, the article is divided into smaller parts. These parts are read first slowly, then at a normal speed, then at a conversational speed. This is very helpful for getting accustomed to the material. However, I suggest getting a CD copy of the recordings instead of a casette tape.

After each article, there are explanations of new grammar patterns found in the article. There are also some exercises for you to fill out to test your grasp of the material. There is also a useful glossary of the vocabulary material in the back of the book.

The articles are about contraversial topics that make good candiates for real-life discussions. For example, there is an article about animal abuse, and an article about firearm usage. There are also some articles that will teach you a bit about Chinese history and holidays.

Overall, I found that this book really improved my Chinese in all aspects, just as the title suggests. 听说读写! I think that it helped my reading the most, because I would read the articles over many times to get accustomed to the material.

However, I do not know about New Practical Chinese Reader. I apologize. But another member might write a review for you, and you could compare that with this post. :)

Good luck! 加油! :mrgreen:

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I have not used "Integrated", so I can't compare. - but I am in a class that uses the New PCR, Vol.1.

I find it to be very good: it has useful vocabulary in its lessons. The lesson is in simplified characters, with pinyin beneath each line of dialogue, explanations of idiomatic phrases, very clear grammatical information, and character-stroke descriptions.

For each lesson there are plenty of exercises: fill-in phrase, and reading material without pinyin, based on the vocabulary in the dialogue.

I think that everyone in the class has been happy with the book - but we do have a good native-Mandarin speaker as teacher.

However, I think the book would also be good for self-learning - the CD has to be purchased separately.

Hope this helps!

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NPCR - volume 1 doesn't have traditional versions of texts but they do appear in all other volumes starting from volume 2 (except the texts for listening comprehension). Characters are introduced for both systems in all volumes, so is the vocab at the end of the book.

NPCR has slow and fast (natural) rates in vol. 1 and 2, only normal is used starting from v. 3. Excellent recordings.

EDIT:

From volume 2 there is no pinyin for the texts, only for new vocab. Volume 2 has tone marks over characters, starting from vol. 3 there are no tone marks.

The first 2 volumes give a very good description of characters and sometimes of the components, the workbooks have traces for practising. In vol. no more description but there are still tracing and writing exercises.

Like many books/dictionaries fro learners I noticed - a few hundred most basic characters are explained well but then you can't find everything for each character. Wenlin software gives answer for most of the characters (both trad. and simplified, some rare characters, Japanese, Cantonese, etc.).

END EDIT

Characters are explained and introduced thoroughly, so is the grammar. Very academic and thorough book, IMHO. Suits most learners. Less focus on traditional characters but they are not ignored (can always check the vocab list or the trad. version at the end of the book), though.

Thumbs up for the textbook! I only don't like the format. I hate books in A4 format

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Vol 1 of NPCR does actually have traditional characters :) , but only in the index at the back of the volume, but not within the lessons.:cry:

Re slow and fast rates: do you mean the CD? I can play the CD slow, normal and fast speed on my laptop, using Windows Media Player.

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Re slow and fast rates: do you mean the CD? I can play the CD slow, normal and fast speed on my laptop, using Windows Media Player.

No, the recording in vol. 1 and 2 have two speeds - natural and fast, the slow rate is just a little bit slower with some pauses.

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Thanks all for your replies and reviews. From what I understand their both great books!

However, I did notice that NPCR has 6 volumes (3 yrs of college chinese?) whereas Integrated Chinese has only 2 (2 yrs of college Chinese?) I wonder if its better to go with NPCR since it will carry you further?

Thanks,

Hunter

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  • 3 months later...

I've noticed that my University uses NPCR Book 1 in first year, Book 2 in second year, and Book 3 in third year. As far as I'm aware, it doesn't use books 4 - 6.

Would someone who has them be able to tell me about them? I'm kinda curious as to how advanced they get. Also, if someone could provide me with contact details for the people who wrote the NPCR, I'd be *extremely* appreciative, as I've a few things I'd like to mention / ask.

Oh, and NPCR does have a few errors, like not having 月 in the list of new words in Chapter 9, for example, which caused me a little frustration. It can also be inconvient looking up the stroke order for characters listed in the 'New' boxes. But those are fairly minor points.

-ipsi

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In Lesson9, pages 122 and 123 of NPCR Book 1, there are examples of the use of 月, with pinyin.

It's easy to deduce that it means (among other things) "month".

I have been using NCPR and I find it is excellent and clear. I have just moved on to Book 2 - it's scary, :( as it doesen't show pinyin in the dialogues - but I suppose that's good for the soul!:)

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I've done volumes 1 and 2 of NPCR, started vol. 3 and have done 3 lessons but sort of moved away using other texts at the moment, since volume is not much different from many other Chinese textbooks. I enjoyed the first volumes because of the level of details they describe the new characters and audio recordings had 2 speeds - slow and normal. It's only with the first 2 volumes.

Starting from volume 3 it's just another reader if you ask me, I've got other texts that I enjoy more but you might continue with NPCR. I will probably get back to NPCR volume 3 when I finish my Russian textbook of Mandarin.

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For self-study I like the layered approach, since every textbook will have it's own variations on vocabulary, grammar, culture, etc.

I've also found that doing, for example, NCPR 3+4 after doing David & Helen you'll find the second round at same level is a rather enjoyable practice/review where you can cruise thru quickly making picking up 10 new words per chapter instead of 50 like the first time around. It can really help listening comprehension hearing same words used in different patterns from another textbook IMO.

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NPCR is intensive enough on characters but you can only learn as much. The first 2 volumes give you only about 700 characters but they are thoroughly explained and used. I didn't limit my studies to just these NPCR. There is a number of extra characters, which were used but not thoroughly explained (no stroke orders or components).

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I'm using the old version of Practical Chinese Reader and I've nearly finished the first volume. I think it's good becuase it has a real insight for grammer (which is my weak point). Make sure you have the new version becuase the old is about 20 years old. Which means you're calling everyone and the'r aunty "comrade"....which could offend someone in mdoern day china heh.

I like the books, and use it with a few other's like Chinese for Today whcih comes with the audio disks.

:mrgreen: hope that helps - i recomend the books to you!

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