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Friday, February 19, 2010

When Users "Gossip" about Textbook Characters

I like it when users talk about the content of Learning-Chinese textbooks. I learn about how easy or difficult it is to use. Students usually have great comments on what works or don't in using the book.

I am amused however, when users actually talk about the storyline of a textbook. I have noticed this a year or so ago, but ignored it until I recently joined a Chinese forum.

The students were talking about who's the boyfriend of who in the New Practical Chinese Reader.

Now, we were taught gossiping is not a good thing, but if for example, I find my teenage son gossiping about a textbook character, then I think I would be all for it.

This means the textbook is very interesting for the target user. For New Practical Chinese Reader, that would be teen-agers, so it's understandable.

As a parent, I would prefer it that way, because this means my teen-ager will willingly use the higher levels of a learning-Chinese textbook. I think it's a mean feat for a language textbook to attract the attention of a user this way.

I think it was also mentioned in that forum thread that the story line stopped for level 4. The focus of Book 5 was more on classic Chinese materials that the students would need. Yes, I sensed disappointment and somebody mentioned the boyfriend issue should be resolved in Level 6.

I heard Level 6 is out, and ChildBook will surely have it when available, so let's see if it will be resolved.

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