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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Choosing A Chinese Textbook


First Decide Simplified or Traditional Chinese Characters

A decision that has to be made is for teaching Simplified or Traditional Chinese Characters, and that often depends on where your Chinese teacher is from. If your teacher is from Taiwan, they usually prefer to teach Traditional Chinese Characters, if they are from China, Simplified. If you learn one, you can read the other. I compare it to the ability to drive a stick shift, vs. an Automatic. There are arguments on both sides which is better, but my opinion they are both equally hard.

More information:
Traditional or Simplified - Which To Learn

 Which Chinese Dialect?

 My opinion is Mandarin Chinese. I get customers who call me up and say they want to Learn Chinese? And my question is which Chinese, but I am polite and explain the difference and why they should choose Mandarin. Some callers have no idea about the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin. I have also gotten some callers, who are very focused on learning Cantonese, so I refer them to a traditional Chinese bookstore located in a larger older Chinatown that should be able to help them.

References:
Chinese is Mandarin?
Cantonese: a Dialect in Peril?
Cantonese - Why Childbook does not carry it

And Who is Learning Chinese?

The best textbook depends on who is learning Chinese. For a student who speaks Chinese at home and parents are from Taiwan, I have different recommendations than for a home schooling student learning Chinese without a native speaker. If there a tutor available. If they want to learn Traditional vs. Simplified Chinese I also have different recommendations. It depends. And it depends on the age.


List of Chinese Textbooks
Kids' Learning Chinese Textbooks & Curriculum

References:
Textbooks for ABC's - Chinese Speakers, but born overseas
Recommendations for Learning Chinese Textbooks for Kids
Chinese Made Easy for Kids Vs. Chinese Made Easy


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