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Success with Chinese

A Communicative Approach for Beginners
by De-an Wu Swihart, Irene Liu, Judy Z. Mu, Cong Meng
Description

English speakers learn to converse in Chinese faster than they learn to read and write it. Success with Chinese’s special teaching method focuses on that essential fact by coordinating Listening & Speaking and Reading & Writing separately. This two-part structure allows for flexibility in designing the instruction and learning process, and empowers students to learn more effectively by first concentrating on listening and speaking, and then reading and writing at a slower pace.

Listening & Speaking
Equally effective for classroom use or for independent study, Success with Chinese’s lessons help build a solid foundation by using daily experiences as practical opportunities for learning and mastering the basics of Chinese. For instance, instead of starting Listening & Speaking with the typical textbook exchanges such as “How are you?”, Success with Chinese takes you onto the streets of China to shop for the essentials you need. In the Listening & Speaking volumes, each lesson includes key expressions and sample conversations, pronunciation exercises, notes on grammar, sentence pattern drills, and communicative exercises. Each Listening & Speaking textbook includes two audio CDs bound into the book.

Reading & Writing
The Reading & Writing volumes help students to learn radicals, and simple characters in restaurant menus, signs, and other materials. Instead of focusing on character memorization, Success with Chinese teaches critical reading strategies that will help students apply their knowledge of characters to understand the general meaning of a phrase, even when confronting unfamiliar words. Students also learn how to type Chinese on a computer using pinyin, and to write by hand the most essential characters they need to fill out forms, leave messages, and communicate basic needs.

Success with Chinese trains beginning students to the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) novice level. There are two levels of study, and each level includes a Listening & Speaking volume and a separate Reading & Writing volume. Level 1, typically used as a semester or summer course, teaches around 400 vocabulary items (L&S) and 240 characters (R&W). Level 2 teaches 651 vocabulary items (L&S) and 489 characters (R&W). Two audio CDs accompany each Listening & Speaking volume. Books use simplified characters with pinyin (second editions include traditional characters).

Reviews

[Success with Chinese] is so skillfully and practically structured that students are able to learn basic Chinese language skills with flexibility.

— Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association

[A] distinctive option to the ever-growing range of textbooks now available for beginning level Chinese language courses.

— Scott McGinnis, The Modern Language Journal