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roddy

Excellent Listening Course

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roddy

I've been meaning to do a decent write-up on this course for a while. However, I've decided to just do a not-decent one, it'll be easier . . .

汉语听力系列教材
(Chinese Listening Course)
北京文化语言大学出版社
Amazon.cn
There are nine books in this course, 3 each at elementary, intermediate and advanced. I've used about 5 of them, from Elementary 3 onwards.

I've always been really impressed by them because

1) They're really well designed - difficult vocab is pre-taught, there's a mix of longer and shorter listening pieces, questions are pitched very well and there's a mix of multiple choice / true-false / fill-in-the-blanks and open-ended questions.
2) The listening pieces are infinitely more interesting than some of the 'Visiting the Factory' and 'China is the World's Most Populous Country' stuff you get sometimes. Flicking through the books I have handy you've got people complaining about pushing on a bus, jokes, daft stories like 'My Husband's Ugly as Sin but I Love Him Anyway' and stuff. There's a bit of the '34% of China's 463,432 lakes . . .' kind of things as well, but not too much.
3) The pieces are very conversational, especially early on - stuff like 真没想到, 没劲 and so on.

Apart from the new vocabulary these books are entirely in characters - you'll need a certain reading level just to follow the questions - and even the new vocab is given only in characters and pinyin, so you'll be reaching for your dictionary a lot. There are tapescripts at the back of the books.

I don't know how available they are abroad. If you type in 汉语听力 in the search box on the BCLU Press page linked above, you'll find them though. I won't give ISBN numbers here as there'd have to be nine of them (more with tapes) but you can get them from the BCLU page. Just make sure you're looking at the right level / book.

Listening is probably one of the stronger aspects of my Chinese, and I think this course had a lot to do with it. I also recommended them to someone who studied Chinese at university for four years and she said they were the best books she'd ever used.

The books are very useful prep for the HSK exam - listening pieces and answers are very similar to what you'll get in the listening exam (Elem/Int anyway . . .).

Did I forget anything? Anybody already used them? Know where they can be bought from easily?

Roddy

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Jive Turkey

Thanks for the suggestion, Roddy. On my way back to HK today, I'll probably stop at the Shenzhen Shucheng to see if they have them there.

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doumeizhen

How many tapes are there per book?

And Roddy, what is the best place to buy them in Beijing? Do you think the Bookstore at BLCU has them? or Wang Fu Jing?

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roddy

Three tapes per book, if I remember correctly. BLCU has, them, as do both bookstores on WFJ.

Roddy

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beijingbooty

I my opinion, with listening comprehension tape sets, they have very limited use and value. This is becase once you have listened to the tapes a couple of times, you know what they are talking about.

I think a better method is to watch chinese TV or listen to radio broadcasts, this way the material is always fresh, and you are not going over the same old stuff time and again.

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sunyata
Three tapes per book' date=' if I remember correctly. BLCU has, them, as do both bookstores on WFJ.

Roddy[/quote']

only why buy them at WFJ?? IT's damn expensive....There is a nice bookstore...near that foreign student housing unit....If you are at Wu Dao Kou, and you keep going on the road towards Xi Jiao Bin Guan until you reach the end of it....then walk through the gate and turn left

Forget what the bookstore is called - but it's nice, because they offer discounts, so it comes out cheaper

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roddy
only why buy them at WFJ?? IT's damn expensive....

If you know anywhere else that offers discounts, let us know. But if you are going to buy one book and three tapes (say about 40Y, at a guess), and you are near WFJ, is the discount worth the 10Y return subway ride + minimum 1 hour of your time?

I haven't been in that bookstore you mention for over a year, but last time I was in the range of books was pretty poor - they seemed to have required texts they could be sure would tell and a lot of old stuff they could get and sell cheap, but they were missing a lot of good up-to-date stuff. It may be better now. I'd forgotten about it though - I'll maybe have a look in next time I'm in the area.

Beijing Booty - good point, but I reckon getting listening exercises with vocab and questions all laid out for you is pretty useful. Plus, if you are just starting, the radio and TV is going to be pretty intimidating.

Roddy

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markpete

Roddy, how elementary would you say this listening course is? I've gone through all of the Pimsleur Mandarin (I, II, III) CDs and all of DeFrancis' Beginning Chinese Reader (about 400 characters, 1200 compounds), but often the materials published in China are still pretty advanced for me.

At what level would you say this course starts (in terms of required number of words in my vocabulary, or approximately how much college Chinese would be necessary to make this course a good next step)?

Thanks,

Mark

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Haoqide

I'm with Markpete...Only I haven't gone through the "Beginning Chinese Reader" yet, and I recognize probably under 100 characters. Ah, the joys of being self-taught... :wall

So, anybody got an answer for me?

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Meng Lelan

Roddy,

I'm seeing slightly different titles on the BCLU web site for the listening course you recommended. Could you provide the authors' names and ISBN? I'd like to get it because my severe hearing impairment makes listening comprehension difficult and would like to improve it. By the way I am in the US.

Lelan

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roddy
Could you provide the authors' names and ISBN?

I have Books 2 + 3 of the Elementary Course in front of me (after some rooting around on a dusty bookshelf). These are both credited to 李铭起, ISBN's 7-5619-0741-9 and 7-5619-0740-0, and here's a link to get you started. If you tell me specifically which books you are interested in I'll see if I can give you the exact ISBNs - I think I have them all bar the very first one.

At what level would you say this course starts

As said, I don't have the very first book in front of me (not sure where it went), and it's been a few years since I used it (if I remember correctly, I went through the first couple quite quickly). Bearing that in mind, what I'll say is that

1) the course does rely on characters and you will find yourself using your dictionary quite a lot BUT

2) it gets better, as a lot of the words you'll be looking up will be rubric, and as such repeated AND

3) you get to learn to read as well as listen.

Here's a random selection of sentences from the approximate middle of the 2nd Elementary Book.

连接听脸变绿音,请回答下列问题:(example of rubric)

男的题了个事么建议?

他们两个都喝啤酒了吗?

他们把那个城市的生活费定为100%?(three questions from various parts of lesson 17.)

Hope that helps. Still recommend these books.

Roddy

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Meng Lelan

Roddy:

Excellent! I'll go look at the link you put there. I just hope they take credit cards at the online checkout. Have you tried other listening courses and how do they compare to the one you recommended? Many thanks.

Lelan

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roddy

Better late than never . . .

I never used any other specific listening course, just the listening parts of other textbooks (and even then not as systematically as I used there).

Did you manage to get hold of these? How did you find them?

Roddy

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techie

I have been listening and using "chineseon.net" where you are able to read, listen and practice your chinese at the same time.

This course is offered through the goverment of China and is representative of grades 1-12.

I was attending a course for chinese children where there were only two adults, a lady from Singapur with her grandaughter and myself. All the other students were from 8 to 15 years old. The course taught "simplified chinese" and use the exact course books and outlines from "chineseon.net". If found the classes too slowed for me and after discovering the online lessons I opted for that option at the convenience of my own home.

I also went ahead and bought their books and CD's. So you do have many choices.

But keep in mind that taking a chinese class and or learning on your own is a very individual experience, I am also listening to the Pimsleur tapes now level II, and also listening to an educational chinese program we have through the TV which uses the textbook "Happy Chinese".

Regards

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Meng Lelan

Ah, yes, better late than never, Roddy. The books and tapes arrived yesterday - I ordered them through the BCLU website to which you referred me. I have just been admitted to the University of Texas in Austin but have found the Chinese department doesn't offer much in the way of listening and conversation courses, so that was another reason I decided to purchase the series you recommended earlier.

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Hann

Does the BCLU books TRADITIONAL and SIMPLIFIED characters or just one?

Also, how would you describe the accents on the tapes(CDs?)? As in region.

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Meng Lelan

Hann-

As for the BCLU materials, it's all simplified characters. As for the tapes, it's all standard putonghua. Correct me if I'm wrong, Roddy!

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taiwaneseguy1146

roddy, about that listening course you recommended... how important is knowing simplified characters in being able to use that product? I am learning traditional chinese and although this product seems very good, I am a bit concerned that I will be disappointed because the book is written in simplified. It seems that being a listening course, reading wouldn't play a big part but if the material is all written in simplified do you think it would still be beneficial to buy it? Thanks.

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柯賜海

As a fellow Taiwan resident- I strongly recommend that you learn simplified characters, too. It's actually pretty easy and as there aren't that many of them, it doesn't take long. Of course you won't need to use them in Taiwan- but in the long run you may want to get HSK certification or use Chinese outside of Taiwan- So it's well worth it.

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