Chinese Your Way eTextbook

Chinese Your Way is an interactive eTextBook that provides one semester’s worth of Mandarin Chinese language instruction in one self-contained package. We offer four levels starting from novice (level 1A), to intermediate (level 2B). Check out our demo and informational videos about how Chinese Your Way can quickly and effectively have you speaking Mandarin Chinese.

What is Chinese Your Way?

Chinese Your Way is an eTextbook designed for secondary school students. It uses Chinese culture as the content, with the dual purpose of learning Chinese language and understanding Chinese culture which includes historical stories, folklores, geography and social conventions. The courseware is story-based and each unit is an episode of the travel story. The story is based on the travel log of American high school students who travel in China with their friends. Their travel experiences thread together Chinese historical stories, folklores, introductions to different locations and the lifestyle and social conventions in different locations in China. Each unit has three modules in addition to the story itself to support and expand further learning of the language and culture highlights in the story.

What does Chinese Your Way eTextbook Contain?

Chinese Your Way eTextbook contains four learning modules in each unit that are as follows:

* Language and Culture Exposure Module (the story):

In this module, learners have two options to access the story (Passive Exposure and Active Exposure). In Passive Exposure, they can simply listen to the story for general understanding. In Active Exposure, they can choose to do the in-depth study of the story. The story takes the form of embedding Chinese words within English texts to provide rich context for vocabulary learning and provide culturally rich and cognitively challenging and motivating learning materials for the learners. In Active Exposure, the learners can do intensive exploration of the focal words, grammar highlights and culture highlights in each episode.

* Further Exploration Module:

This module focuses on expanding the grammar and culture highlights in each episode. Learners can learn more commonly used Chinese words, and there will be video-based explanations of the socio-cultural connotations of some daily expressions highlighted in each episode. The learners can also read the story behind the focal Chinese idiom that appeared in each episode, and there are also detailed explanations of Chinese grammatical structures. Each learning materials in this module are accompanied with practice items.

* Practice Module:

This module contains various listening, speaking, reading and writing practices on the language highlights in each episode.

* Cultural Expansion Module:

This module contains expanded readings on Chinese history, geography, culture and modern China related to each episode. These readings take the form of English words arranged in Chinese grammatical order to serve the dual purpose of cultural expansion and incidental grammar learning. Each reading material has comprehension and language exercises and cultural discussion questions accompanying it.

What Are Design Principles of Chinese Your Way eTextbook?

* To integrate Chinese language and culture in a coherent way.

* To capitalize on the learner’s native language in this case, English to ease the learning of Chinese, and to present intriguing and rich culture-based learning materials to the beginners of Chinese.

* To provide a variety of learning tools and incorporate various teaching methods to cater to different learning styles and needs.

* To make full use of the Internet to provide individualized learning and better learner management.

How is Chinese Your Way eTextbook Different from Other Chinese Courseware?

Chinese Your WayExisting Chinese Courseware
Learning Language 1) Embed Chinese within English texts to facilitate and ease the learning of Chinese and thus rich learning content
2) Rely on pinyin at the early stage to build up learners’ functional proficiency and conversational competency very quickly (efficient ways to learn Chinese)
1) Chinese alone and thus very constrained learning content
2) Subject learners to the laborious process of learning Chinese characters from the right beginning and slow down learners’ establishment of functional proficiency (inefficient ways to learn Chinese)
Culture  1) Culture is the dual focus of the courseware in addition to language
2) Culture is an integrative component in every learning module: in the story, in the explanations and in the exercises.
3) Very rich and coherent culture information
1) Language is the sole focus of the courseware
2) Culture is an isolated section of the courseware as supplementary readings
3) Limited and superficial discrete snapshots of the target culture
Motivation 1) Culturally rich learning materials
2) Motivating and age-appropriate learning materials in the form of the travel logs of a group of high school kids
3) Context rich learning materials
1) Culture-deprived learning materials
2) Boring and cognitively un-challenging learning materials
3) Out-of-context learning materials
Learner Support 1) Rich learning tools
2) Convenient on-the-spot access to learning tools and materials for each focal word and grammatical and cultural highlight
3) Tracking students’ performance and progress for each module
1) Limited learning tools
2) No immediate access to learning tools and materials for each focal language or cultural point