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Edexcel GCSE Chinese Student Book Paperback – 25 Aug 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Edexcel; 1 edition (25 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846905176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846905179
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.2 x 26.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many people have commented that this book isn't suitable for a beginner due to its lack of pinyin (romanization) and the fact that it requires the knowledge of quite a lot of characters before you can even read the examples on the first page- and while I couldn't agree more, I can't help but feel that they should have realised that this book is not aimed at the complete beginners but rather someone who is preparing to study it for GCSE within a classroom environment. As someone who is doing that, I have found this book pretty good. I have other textbooks to supplement my learning outside of class - which do have pinyin - but actually studying with a book that does not rely on it is, in my opinion, a good thing as I have found it helps to reinforce your knowledge of the characters and their different meanings - although having a native speaker nearby is a must for pronunciation issues.
My only real problem with the book is the vocabulary section at the back which is not alphabetical nor even ordered according to radicals as in most dictionaries...it takes longer to find it in the back than it does to go through a chinese dictionary to find it.
In conclusion, if you have
-a fairly good knowledge of basic chinese (or a slightly basic level but in search of a challenge and prepared to spend half your time looking things up in a dictionary) then this is a good book.
If however, you have little or no knowledge of chinese and you're studying on your own, I would steer clear- there are plenty of other better books to support your learning.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before buying this book I was assured by Edexcel that it was suitable for beginners. It isn't! I have already completed a course on spoken Mandarin and studied the characters myself. I was astonished to see the level of character recognition required just to begin. There is some Pinyin in the book but nowhere near enough.

The whole book has a very strong emphasis on delivery using Chinese characters from the outset and clearly relies on pronunciation practise being gained from the teacher - not much good if you are teaching yourself. It would have been so easy for Edexcel to have included Pinyin pronunciation guides alongside the new vocabulary in each section but alas they have chosen the more elitist approach and as a result have elevated this book to a middle entry Chinese course.

All that said, the text is lively and colourfully laid out with good intersting features for atudents. It will provide a good reference base for continued study but, as said above, will lose many potential learners due to the heavy character usage. Learning any language is primarily about speaking it. For European languages the written work is easy due to the common Roman script but I feel that when that language has no alphabet, like Chinese, to put so much emphasis on reading and writing the script at this early stage, somewhat defeats the object of learning to speak.

This is a good book if you already have a reasonable grasp of the spoken and character written language, or if you are studying the course with a teacher. If not, leave it on the shelf.
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Format: Paperback
This book is not meant for beginners, but is suitable for someone already with a basic grasp of Chinese. The book is also written in simplified Chinese, and is this unsuitable for students who will take the exam using traditional font.
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Format: Paperback
The print is rather small and the layout congested. There is almost no revision of the elementary stages (therefore, don't be tempted to buy it if you are a relative beginner). It is not particularly user friendly, and tends to revolve mainly around getting marks in an exam rather than actually engaging with the language.
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I am very pleased to meet a wider range of vocabulary and enjoy the lack of Pinyin. Having used the brilliant Kuaile Hanyu where the pinyin gets in the way of tackling the characters, I found this a rewarding challenge. Such a pity a CD was not included and costs so much to purchase separately.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to help my students prepare GCSE exam. The book delivered and I found it has section of 'Listening', but the audio CD is no where to be seen.

Do we have to pay for the CD for this book separately ? Or should I return ask for the replacement which has the audio CD for the book.
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Format: Paperback
I am using this book for the support network. Edexcel has marketed itself very well against AQA and it almost seems natural to use their books if we are using the exam board. To be very fair and frank, this book is very hard to use for both teachers and pupils. Book layout is confusing, too much crammed in on one page, very hard to plan lesson. Revision at the beginning of each chapter!? Why? I am not the only teacher that is confused about this. Frequent obvious mistakes and language use is not always appropriate and authentic, such as the word for 'arm', choice of words at times is very colloquial rather than formal, e.g. when teaching direction, 'to turn' is introduced with very colloquial usage.

I will change to Kuaile Hanyu when I have my only GCSE groups from beinning, follow all three book through. Layout very clear in terms of the character and grammar focus. People's Education Press writes all the textbooks in China, I have my faith in them, not just for the name, but for practical reasons.
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