2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the textbook used by SOAS for their Beginners Mandarin Course,
This review is from: Chinese in Steps: v. 1 (Please order new edition 9781907838101) (Paperback)
I have been using this book on my language course and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone wanting to cover the basics. This is THE text book used by SOAS to teach their Mandarin Langage Course (Vol 1 and 2 used for the Beginners Course, Vol 3 + 4 for their Intermediate Course - the equivalent of 2 years study if you are doing an evening or weekend course).The CD's I have has each exercise recorded on a separate track so you can go straight to the relevant one (it would have been nice for them to indicate the track number in the text). The lessons are structured around a specific topic (eg Introduce yourself to others, Order food in a restaurant etc) with a number of exercises within each lesson that develops your grammar, reading, listening and comprehension skills. Each lesson builds on the words/characters learnt by the previous lesson so towards the later lessons, you are having to read and translate whole paragraphs of chinese - quite satisfying! The key thing we have been told on the course and that I learnt in the course of studying this volume is that you have to invest time in repeatedly writing out characters (invest in a child's etchasketch/scribbler toy if you don't want to go through reams of paper) to have any hope of recognising them. However, as with any langauge, you need to spend time practising by talking to a fluent/native speaker to get pronounciation and grammar correct.
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Initial post: 8 Oct 2013 10:17:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Oct 2013 10:21:01 BDT
SOAS's reputation as THE place to learn Asian languages wasn't built on this text or series of books. They are a recent introduction after the author George Zhang became head of the language centre there. Books 2, 3 and 4 (which I have completed at SOAS language centre) have many errors, poor editing and have obviously been rushed into production. Their full time degree courses do not use this series of books. Make of that what you will.
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