Vera Wang, 1st Edition

Vera Wang, 1st Edition

by Grace Wu



Chinese Biographies: Vera Wang

Discover the story of world-renowned Chinese-American fashion designer, Vera Wang.  Vera Wang fell in love with the fashion world at an early age and rose through its ranks to become a designer for the stars. Readers will learn how this contemporary fashion icon overcame challenges on her path to fame and developed her inspiring strength of character.  The Vera Wang: Chinese Biographies companion website offers English translations, vocabulary lists, classroom activities, and mp3 audio downloads.


Cheng & Tsui
Publication Date: 
Trim Size: 
6 x 9
B/W illustrations

Learning how to read Chinese involves learning, literally, thousands of characters whose correspondence to sounds is not as neat as in western languages, i.e., it would be hard to "sound out" word that you haven't seen before in writing. Simplifying the task by providing simplified readers with phonetic transcriptions directly associated with the words is a very good and pedagogically valid step. Such readers are scarce in Chinese. Ms Wu used technology as an enabler to both create and share the material online, setting an excellent example. It would be great if Ms Wu utilized a linguistic and conceptual model for controlling the readability level of the text. That would be especially useful not only for heritage speakers but also for speakers learning Chinese as a foreign language.

About the Series

Note: A newer edition of this series is available. See the 2nd edition here.

Pinyin Annotated Readers to Improve Chinese Reading Comprehension

Chinese Biographies chronicles the lives of pop culture icons with connections to the Chinese-speaking world. Learning about world-renowned personalities from fields such as sports, music, and fashion helps engage student interest, while reading practice will boost their confidence and enjoyment of the language.

Targeted at North American high school and college language learners, this award-winning series of readers focuses on international celebrities like Jay Chou, Lang Lang, Ang Lee, Yao Ming, Jeremy Lin, and Vera Wang to maintain a cultural context relevant to American students.

Pinyin annotation accompanies the simplified Chinese characters so that beginning-to intermediate-level students can read without the aid of a dictionary for pronunciation. Unlike other readers at this level the pinyin is separated by word rather than syllable, giving students a better understanding of how Chinese characters come together to form words and sentences.

These engaging biographies are designed for students who have mastered 1000-1200 vocabulary words. Each chapter is preceded and followed by comprehension questions to facilitate dialogue between teachers and students. The Chinese Biographies Companion Website includes additional exercises to improve students’ grammar and vocabulary as well as providing access to mp3 audios, class handouts, and vocabulary lists.  Chinese Biographies are ideal readers for both classroom instruction and independent learning.

Online resources include:

  • Audio Downloads
  • Comprehension Exercises
  • Grammar Notes
  • English Translations
  • Sentence Pattern Exercises
  • Vocabulary Lists
About the Author(s)

Grace Wu is a Senior Lecturer in Foreign Language in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in Chinese literacy and Chinese character teaching. Currently, Grace is the Chinese Reading and Writing Course coordinator at the Penn Chinese Language Program. Combining Grace's creativity and her 20-year experience in the field of Chinese language education, the Chinese Biographies series has been selected as the best grant project of 2012 for the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.