Author(s): Jasmine Kong-Yan Tang
Taking Off With Chinese is a textbook designed for beginning students of Chinese language who have no contact with the language or culture. Students will learn Chinese grammar, reading comprehension, written and spoken Chinese with 24 lessons. Each lesson covers different topics that students encounter in everyday life. This textbook contains the following learning objectives:
1. To introduce and familiarize students with pinyin (romanized Chinese characters) and a brief history of the Chinese language.
2. To reinforce learning of the Chinese characters (words and phrases) through repetition and scaffolding.
3. To introduce new words, phrases and sentences systematically by building on students’ prior knowledge.
4. To consolidate the acquisition of the language through frequent practice and review of what the students have learned.
The teaching material integrates Chinese culture, values, and beliefs with the American students’ way of life. The textbook points out the major differences between Chinese and English languages. Given that Chinese is a tonal language with pictographic and ideographic written characters, the book emphasizes the oral practice of the four tones and the stroke order and the radical of
the written language. The teaching content is relevant, topical and follows the standard Chinese forms of etiquette, greetings and everyday routines such as shopping and making appointments.