NPCR: New Practical Chinese Reader Textbook (1)
author: Liu Xun
Publishing house: Beijing Language and Culture University Press
number of editions: first edition in March 2002
number of print: sixth print in September 2004
wordage (thousand words): 160 thousand words
format: 889×1194mm 16 format
New Practical Chinese Reader is a series of Chinese textbooks compiled at the beginning of the new millennium for the purpose of Chinese to native English speakers or those who use English as their principal second language. It aims to develop the learner’s communicative ability in Chinese by learning language structures. Functions and related cultural knowledge as well as by training their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The series consists of seventy lessons in six volumes. The first four volumes, consisting of fifty lessons, are for beginners and pre-intermediate level learners. The last two contain twenty lessons for learners at an elective or major in the language for a period of three years, studying about one lesson a week, or one volume a semester. It can also be used by autonomous learners. Each volume comes equipped with a workbook, an instructor’s manual, audiotapes and CD-ROMS.
Why have we named our teaching materials New Practical Chinese Reader?
We have given our textbooks this name, because it follows in the footsteps of highly acclaimed and time tested Practical Chinese Reader (abbreviated PCR below). However, in the meantime, it is an entirely new set of textbooks. PCR has been published in numerous editions since 1981 and has been adopted as a textbook by Chinese language educators and learners worldwide during the last two decades. The characters appearing in the lessons of PCR (Palanca, Ding Yun and Gubo, among others), have accompanied two generations of students of different nationalities during their study of beginning Chinese. Now these characters have finally reached middle age, and it is time for their children’s generation to learn Chinese and become the principal characters in New Practical Chinese Reader. These include Ding Libo, a Canadlan student, who is the son of Gubo and Ding Yun; Ma Dawei, an American student; and Lin Na, a British student. The experience accumulated by the many teachers of the language, both inside and outside China. The new age in which we live requires what we improve our approaches and teaching materials. We hope that this new teaching material will be able to make original contributions to the teaching of Chinese language in a number of areas.
New Teaching Material, New Concepts
More and more Chinese language teachers and the idea that the fundamental goal of language teaching is to cultivate the learner’s communicative ability in the target language. We believe new teaching materials should be learner-centered. What is taught must be determined by student’s needs and must enable them to learn creatively, gradually strengthening their motivation and sense of achievement. We must create a synthesis of all pedagogical schools, ranging from the grammar-translation method to the communicative approach. We should both emphasize the communicative function and also obtain a firm grasp of language structure. We should allow students to gain grounding in the four basic akills by means of a large number of dills and exercises while also mastering the necessary grammatical knowledge and rules for word and sentence formation. The study of pronunciation, vocabulary, sentence patterns, grammar, and speech are the foundation of linguistic communication. The only way that we can make the learning process easier and smoother is by emphasizing the principle of moving form the crimple to the complex and from the days to the difficult, progressing gradually as we constantly review what has come before. Finally, language teaching-materials must help students understand the culture and society of the largest language so that they can use the target language more effectively. The above are the basic concepts that guided us while writing New Practical Chinese Reader.
Features of New Practical Chinese Reader
1. New Practical Chinese Reader does not follow the linear structure adopted by earlier Chinese teaching materials, instead adopting a cyclical arrangement with constant review of language structure and function together with important cultural information. The teaching of language structure passes through four cycles in the six volumes. In the first six lessons of Volume One, the focus of which is learning pronunciation, students are exposed to various basic sentence patterns by engaging in simple dialogues, although grammar is not discussed systematically at this stage. This second cycle is found in the twenty lessons that comprise Volume Two and the last eight lessons of Volume One. In this cycle, students learn and practice fundamental sentence patterns. As a result, by the end of the first year of study, they should have an elementary command of basic Chinese language structure. Volumes Three and Four contain the twenty-four lessons of the third cycle, which further consolidate, expand and deepen students’ understanding of lexical items and sentence patterns. The fourth cycle is found in the twenty lessons of the last two volumes. Besides introducing more vocabulary items and grammatical points, these lessons concentrate on the teaching of complex sentences and paragraphs not emphasized in earlier Chinese teaching materials. These four large cycles contain smaller ones that interact closely with the unit reviews, not only increasing the students’ command of linguistic structures and functions, but also (and more importantly) giving them a sense of accomplishment in communicative abilities at each stage of the learning process.
2.New Practical Chinese reader breaks with the emphasis on structure at the expense of function characteristic of earlier teaching materials. Even in its introduction to phonetics, this new series gives prominence to function, training the students in the most needed functional items, such as greetings and introductions, at the same time as it teaches the phonetics. The first four volumes focus on the teaching of basic functions and topics of conversation, training the students’ abilities to use language structures for communication. The last two volumes cultivate students’ ability to comprehend and communicate at a higher level, especially in paragraphs. Functional items are included throughout all six volumes in order to constantly improve the learner’s listening, speaking, reading and writing. Some pictures and culturally authentic materials such as selections from timetables, menus, advertisements, announcements, newspapers and classical literary pieces are also used.
3.Unlike the vast majority of earlier textbooks, New Practical Chinese Reader emphasizes the systematic study of characters. In view of the difficulties encountered by students lacking a background in Chinese characters, the first two volumes stress the fundamental rules of learning the Chinese script, studying easy forms such as basic strokes, character components and single-component characters first before moving on to difficult ones. The first six lessons of Volume One divorce the study of characters from the conversation text. The teaching of characters starts with the introduction of sixty common, easily learnt characters frequently used as components of other characters, along with some character components. The goal of this approach is to allow students to learn multi-component characters by first mattering their components.
4.Transcending the limits of campus life, New Practical Chinese Reader distinguishes itself even at the beginning stage from most previous Chinese textbooks by including a broader range of interesting materials. The first four volumes develop a series of attractive stories, narrating the lives of the three international students mentioned above, including their friendships, love stories and teacher-student relationships with the Chinese students Song Hus, Wang Xiaoyun, the journalist Lu Yuping, the tour guide Xiao Yanzi, as well as several Chinese language teachers. Volumes One and Two interweave campus life with every day experiences, introducing cultural norms and customs closely associated with speaking and comprehension. The third and fourth volumes concentrate on topics of interest to students, illustrating cultural differences between China and the West. The last two volumes introduce various aspects of Chinese society, highlighting traditional and contemporary cultural life.
5.New Practical Chinese Reader abandons the mechanical, monotonous and inflexible formulae of earlier teaching materials and can be adapted to the needs of students beginning at different levels. It increases the amount of vocabulary and exercises, while adopting a module structure that balances the relationship between core material and supplementary contents. By guaranteeing the teaching of core material, it can increase the amount of supplementary contents so that students can learn according to their individual needs, and teachers can use the textbook to suit the differing levels of their students.
The layout of Volumes One to Four of New Practical Chinese Reader
Text This section supplies the topics and scenes of each lesson. For the most part, Volumes One and Two use dialogue form (with two paragraphs in each lesson), facilitating audio-lingual practice and providing an overall grounding in the reading and writing of elementary Chinese. The pronunciation section in lessons one to six emphasizes the pinyin text, while lessons seven to fourteen focus on Chinese characters, which, however, have pinyin written beneath them. In the second volume, pinyin disappears, and there are only tone marks. From the third volume onward, tone mark are no longer used. In this way, learners gradually free themselves from pinyin.
New Words This part of each lesson analyzes the morphemes (characters) that form new words with the aim of improving learners’ comprehension and memory. At the same time, students can master the use of new words by practicing them in phrases. Supplementary words can be learned according to the learners’ individual abilities.
Notes For be most part, notes contain explanations of new words, develop grammatical points taught previously, or introduce necessary cultural background. English translations are provided to help students comprehend sentences containing grammar that will be dealt with in later lessons.
Conversation Practice (included in Lesson 1-6), Drills and Practice (included in Lessons 7-14) We hope students will thoroughly master the key sentences illustration the fundamental linguistic structures and functions introduced in the text. By practicing phrases, doing pattern drills, and taking part in dialogues and communicative exercises, students can move successfully from mechanical exercises to proficient interaction.
Reading Comprehension and Paraphrasing Exercises of this kind ensure the review of some of the sentence patterns and lexical items already taught, thereby developing the students’ discourse abilities in both oral and written forms. From the second volume on, the contents of reading text are expanded so as to strengthen the students’ reading comprehension.
Phonetics and Pronunciation Drills (included in Lessons 1-6) In view of the peculiarities of Chinese pronunciation and the special difficulties it presents to foreign learners with English as their mother tongue, the text focuses on the principle features of the Chinese pronunciation system, phonetics and spelling rules. Students can gradually achieve a good foundation in pronunciation by doing the exercises for spelling, the four tones, sound discriminations, then discriminations, tone sandhi, tone combinations, practice on disyllabic and polysyllabic words, and reading classroom expressions.
Grammar The grammar explanations take into account the special features of the Chinese language and the difficulties encountered by native speakers of English in learning them. They do not attempt to treat Chinese grammar comprehensively but articulate the most important grammatical structures and rules for sentence formation. Each volume has two review lessons that help learners review the grammatical points taught earlier.
Characters The text first introduces character components, later combining them to form characters. Rules for constructing and writing characters are also given to facilitate the learning of Chinese writing.
Cultural Notes At first, cultural notes in the English language are provided so that students can gain insight into cultural information related to their language studies. As learners’ Chinese proficiency improves, cultural notes are incorporated more and more into the Chinese texts.
The workbook is designed for students to use outside class. In addition to exercises for studying characters, phonetics, sentence patterns and words, it also includes general exercises for speaking, aural comprehension, reading, and writing.
The Instructor’s Manual makes suggestions regarding the goals and methods of teaching and supplies explanations of each lesson’s contents. It also supplies the instructors with more knowledge about phonetics, grammar and vocabulary. Unit tests and keys to the tests and exercises are provided.
If you think this product’s information is wrong, or the price is more expensive than other shops, or you need us to add some other products to our site, please click HERE to let us know, in order to make us provide better services for you, thank you in advance.
Customers who bought this product also purchased:
·CME: Chinese Made Easier (1) (second edition ) (with 2 MP3)
·A Dream of Red Mansions (Hong Lou Meng) (Subtitle: English / Simplified Chinese (optional), Soundtrack: Mandarin (12DVD)
·What’s in a Chinese Character (Chinese-English)
·Bahasa Tionghoa Interaktif (8CD-ROMs +8CDs+8Books) (Indonesian edition)
·A Practical Business Chinese Reader (revised edition)