STUDENT’S BOOK Description
Story, Content, and Functions
The essential feature in our textbook is the storyline that unifies the learning experience. All contents are woven into the story. It makes learning Chinese interesting and effective.
Unit 1 - Looking at China from the Moon Palace
This unit starts Mark’s adventure. He mysteriously travels to the Moon Palace and meets Cháng'é, Wú Gāng and Little Rabbit. They tell Mark about China, the Chinese language and characters. Some of the topics discussed are: China’s population, area size, geography, ethnic groups, languages and dialects, important cities, monuments and rivers.
• General introduction of China, the Chinese language and characters.
Unit 2 - Learning Pīnyīn at the Moon Palace
Mark and his friends are still at the Moon Palace, where his friends teach him pīnyīn.
• The concept of pīnyīn
• The pronunciation of initials, finals, and tones
• Some common greeting and classroom phrases.
Unit 3 - Studying Pīnyīn at the Peach Blossom Village
After studying pīnyīn, Cháng'é takes Mark to the Peach Blossom Village to meet Cāng Jié, the expert at Chinese characters. Cāng Jié tells Mark how he created the first character and teaches him the four ways that characters are formed. He instructs him on how to write strokes and the importance of stroke order. He also teaches him 52 basic characters. This unit lays the foundation for learning future characters and dialogues
• 52 basic characters
• The 4 formations of characters
• Strokes and stroke order
• Numbers 1- 99.
Unit 4 - At the Confucius Temple
Before Mark can start speaking Chinese, Cháng'é suggests that they visit Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher and teacher. Confucius will provide the inspiration and moral training needed for Mark to pursue his desire to learn Chinese. They visit Confucius at the Confucius Temple. Here your students will learn that respect for education is an important concept in Chinese society.
• Expressing greetings and introductions
• Expressing gratitude and saying farewell
• Inquiring about people’s occupations and possessions
• Forming negative sentences
• Forming interrogatives
• Stating similarity
• Using measure words.
Unit 5 - In Běijīng
This unit takes place in Bejing, the capital of China. Mark will visit Tiān’ānmén Square, the Great Wall and other interesting places. He will also learn about the different cuisines of China and some of its typical dishes.
• Identifying objects (demonstrative adjectives)
• Describing people and places
• Telling time
• Making plans
• Ordering food.
Unit 6 - In Xī’ān
Cháng'é takes Mark to Xī’ān, the Eight Wonder of the World. Mark learns about Qínshĭhuáng and the history of the Terracotta Army. Although it dates back to 200 B.C., he hears how it was recently discovered in the 20th century.
• Asking where people live
• Addressing people
• Asking about nationality
• Identifying people and objects
• Establishing possession
• Expressing past, future and present.
Unit 7- On Changjiang River
Mark and his friends are taking a scenic tour down the Changjiang River. They marvel at the natural beauty of the scenery that comes into view.
• Expressing measurements (length, height and distance)
• Expressing dates
• Discussing age
• Extending invitations
• Asking about one’s ability to speak a language.
Unit 8 - In Shànghăi
Mark invites Cháng'é, Wú Gāng and Little Rabbit to meet his web-pal in Shànghăi. In Shànghăi Mark is awed by its tall buildings, beautiful setting and bustling life. Also in this unit there is an interesting discussion about sports and the martial arts.
• Asking about transportation
• Asking for opinions
• Giving and receiving compliments
• Inquiring about family and pets
• Expressing likes and dislikes.
Unit 9 - In Hong Kong
Mark ends his travels in Hong Kong. He learns that it is a shopper’s paradise and spends his last few days in China buying ouvenirs for his family and friends. The units of Chinese currency are explained.
• Making plans for future dates
• Asking about price and learning how to bargain
• Making suggestions
• Making telephone calls.
Unit 10 - Back Home
Back in the United States Mark shares his adventures and travels with his American friends. Although this unit reviews the previous lessons, it is treated as a continuation of the storyline in order to maintain the interest of the students.
• The storyline, the cultural notes, the pīnyīn, the characters and vocabulary, the sentence functions – all are here for a consolidated
review. Self-tests, in blog format, are included at the end of the unit.
Introduction to the Sections
To successfully accomplish the functions in the textbook, we have carefully designed a pattern that is developed in each section of the lessons and units. They are as follow.
Unit Title Page
The Title Page is the first page of each unit. It reminds students of Mark’s journey: how the journey began; where he was in the previous unit and where the next adventure will take place, and with whom. It introduces the cultural and linguistic objectives of the unit. This page is visual and colorful, with the intention of stirring the imagination of the readers.
This page appears at the beginning of each lesson. It is in dialogue format, cartoon style, and focuses on daily needs. Through the dialogues we get to share Mark’s travels and meet his friends. Students will listen to the CD recording and hear the new sounds for the first time. We are stressing oral communication in our teaching technique. We advise teachers to take time to practice the new language structures with the students, building interactive dialogues and communicative activities to provide additional practice. Remember that this is an introduction of the new sounds; we are not expecting proficiency yet.
The Dialogue Page is always followed by the Cultural Note. In this section students are introduced to varying aspects of China and its culture. This section is presented in English so that the students will easily understand the concepts and lessons being discussed. At this time we encourage teachers to expand the cultural lessons by sharing personal experiences or histories with the students; by leading discussions, using the students’ knowledge and experiences; by displaying realia that supports the cultural lessons; by assigning research topics as homework.
Follow Me to Learn Characters and Words
This is an essential section of each unit. You will notice our unique approach to learning the characters: visual clues are given to bridge the meaning to the character. Teachers must take extensive time for the students to accomplish the objectives of this section. Students will practice the ronunciation, learn the meanings and write the characters for each new vocabulary word. First they will hear the voice of Cháng'é in the CD recording. After they practice the pronunciation with both the recording and the teacher, they will learn the stroke order for each haracter. The teacher needs to model the strokes and instruct the appropriate stroke order. Much time must be spent to accomplish the appropriate result. In our “Class Activities Suggestions’ we make several recommendations for writing practice. There are also many suggestions for facilitating learning the meanings of the characters.
The Voice of Cháng’é
In this section the students have several opportunities to hear and practice the new sounds. After repeating the sounds with Cháng'é, there are multiple oral/aural exercises that serve to re-enforce their pronunciation.
Let’s Say It
These are structured communicative activities that provide the opportunity for students to practice the new sounds, vocabulary and functional structures as they practice with their classmates. These exercises are designed for paired activities, cooperative exercises or group interactions.
Read and Write
This is a consolidating activity that combines the written format, vocabulary and functional structures. It assumes a sufficient level of proficiency of the elements introduced in the unit.
Just for Fun
This section provides extended oral practice but with the opportunity to be more creative. The exercises are less structured than the activities in the “Let’s Say It” section. Students are invited to be participatory and imaginative. Generally these activities are centered on personalities and subjects that are appealing to young people.
Mark's Blog appears at the end of each unit. Its goal is to provide an opportunity for teachers to summarize the unit and for students to review the new material. Students are encouraged to use the blog to express their ideas, questions and comments on our website. They can communicate with other students or with native speakers in China. It is an exciting and unique concept. We ask you to encourage your students to take advantage of this learning tool.