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Flying with Chinese

by Shuhan C. Wang, Carol Ann Dahlberg, Chiachyi Chiu, Marisa Fang, Mei-Ju Hwang

At last, an elementary Chinese textbook series for American students that is as focused as it is fun! Developed in accordance with the ACTFL National Content Standards, Flying with Chinese is the first K–6 series created by a team of Chinese language experts and established professionals in the field of K–8 world language education. The result is an integrated, communicative approach, with oral and literacy targets included and assessed throughout the 17-book series.

For more information detailing the pedagogy and teaching methods used in this series, please read through this PDF.

The Flying with Chinese series is clustered around three themes: global citizenship, cultural heritage, and environmental responsibility. Each volume introduces legends, real and fictional characters of importance to Chinese culture, and significant Chinese customs and celebrations. Depending on the time available for instruction, a program may choose one or any combination of the A, B, C series. Each book is independent but interrelated to one another.

When it comes to writing, Flying with Chinese steers a path down the middle. The focus in the earlier years is on oral skills, but the books and teacher materials offer multiple channels for conveying the fundamentals of written Chinese to young learners, from Total Physical Response activities to the use of Chinese-language signs in the classroom. This interwoven approach makes it possible for students to acquire 30 characters per year in grades K–1, 60 per year in grades 2–3, and between 90 and 130 per year in grades 4–6.

Flying with Chinese offers ample teacher support material, from the assessment structures included at the end of each lesson to a complete set of teacher guides that include detailed teaching suggestions, additional activities, rubrics, and information on how to encourage parental involvement as part of the language-learning process. A useful overview of child language development will help teachers understand the series’ underlying curriculum structure, and equip them with strategies for creating an enriching, enjoyable classroom environment. When coupled with guided language practice in the classroom, Flying with Chinese comprehensively addresses the language-learning needs and abilities of the young student of Chinese.

Flying with Chinese includes simplified characters only.

In this Series

  • Grade 6

  • Kindergarten

  • Grade 5

  • Grade 4

  • Grade 3

  • Grade 2

  • Grade 1

  • Flying with Chinese Online

  • Age-appropriate material dovetails perfectly with daily operations of American classrooms, yet maintains an international focus.
  • Practice activities in both text and workbook are fun and engaging, with a non-intimidating design.
  • Ongoing performance-assessment activities (for example, an “I Can Do These Things” at the end of each lesson) give students a continual sense of accomplishment.
  • Thoughtful teacher guides encourage teachers to tailor material, and then show teachers how to do it.
  • Bright, kid-friendly layouts keep engaging characters at the forefront of students’ attention.
  • Separate audio CD includes text, exercises, and music.
  • Flexible design with steady progression: three books per year for a total of seven years, with 21 books in all.
  • Tones of Chinese characters (hanzi) are illustrated to help students accurately pronounce the sounds.
  • The series teaches a total of 500 written characters.