Welcome to ChineseinFocus.com. I invite you to explore the Chinese in Focus series and the supporting materials on this website in order to improve your teaching and your students' learning.
For sixteen years, I was a Chinese language teacher in Quincy, Massachusetts. At the beginning of each school year, I encountered the following situation: many students enthusiastically signed up for Chinese class but often dropped the class within a few weeks. I would ask them why. They said that the textbooks were too difficult, too abstract, and too boring. Many of my professional peers who taught Chinese throughout the country had the same experience. They said that not only did their students not like the textbooks, but they, as teachers, felt the textbooks were difficult to use. These experiences influenced my decision to find a new method of teaching Chinese, and the Chinese in Focus series is the result of that decision.
In writing these teaching materials, my main concern was how to avoid repeating the same problems that other Chinese textbooks have. 形象 (being vivid) and 具体 (being specific and concrete) are the ultimate goals of my method. That is why I named the series Chinese in Focus. Since being vivid 形象 as well as concrete and specific 具体 was my goal, I invented a story line that weaves all the language objectives into the story. I added illustrations and animations to make the language learning interesting and easy. In a word, this is not a traditional method; it is a newly-created learning program that is based on my thirty years of studying and teaching Chinese both in China and in the USA.
Our program consists of four levels, preparing from beginners to intermediate. It is specifically designed for middle and high school students. The Student’s Book is the core of the program; it is supported by the Workbook, Flash Cards and the Teacher’s Manual for each level. We also have an exciting, culturally rich animation for Level 1. I am confident that the method and the approach that are used in our teaching materials will make your teaching easier and more enjoyable.
I know that many of you have excellent ideas regarding Chinese textbooks. I would like to ask you for your critiques and suggestions to improve our materials.