Read Chinese!

Funded by International Research and Studies grants from the US Department of Education, Read Chinese! supports the rapidly expanding interest in Chinese language study in the United States and addresses the critical need for high quality reading materials in Chinese. These e-learning materials were developed to support beginning- and intermediate-level learners in US secondary schools as they learn to read Mandarin Chinese. The lessons can be used independently or as part of a class.

Developed by Professors Michael Everson of the University of Iowa and Cynthia Ning of the University of Hawaii in close collaboration with NFLC staff, Read Chinese! lessons give learners the opportunity to practice basic reading for comprehension through a series of carefully framed exercises that address useful and informative topics, such as everyday life and environment; career goals and aspirations; and art, media, and culture. The reading materials range in difficulty from novice to intermediate on the ACTFL scale. Several beginning lessons on analyzing Chinese characters are available, as are lessons that reflect important aspects of Chinese tradition and literature, with learning activities that focus on cultural understanding.

Each lesson includes a Chinese text with translation into English and phonetic transcription, a glossary, background notes in English on the Chinese language and culture, and four to six repeatable learning activities. All lessons are presented in both simplified and traditional character formats. Topics were chosen to be of particular interest to high school learners, and the design of the lessons has benefited from thoughtful online feedback provided by both teachers and students who have used the materials. A detailed Guide for Learners helps users obtain maximum value from the materials.

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