Presenting news covering a great variety of topics
Providing rich and interesting background information
Adopting advanced teaching mode
- Learning about Chinese society
- Learning about Chinese economy
- Learning about Chinese culture
Overview of the Course
Newspaper Reading is an introductory course book for those students who have finished learning the basic Chinese grammar and mastered a vocabulary of approximately 2500 words. The course consists of two volumes for one academic year.
Due to the unique feature of news, i.e. timeliness, the course pays special attention to the selection of news stories and reports with the following two points in mind:
1. The topics of the course book correspond to those of the page makeup of the typical newspaper including Highlights, Financial News, Science, Education, Culture and Health, Legal Reports, Social News, Entertainment and Sports, etc. All the articles hereby selected for sample reading are topics of routine, recurrence or development. The reason for this is that the contents of the news may become outdated soon while the routine or recurrent topics are relatively stable. It is hoped that the frame for this course will remain, in a relatively long period, valuable and helpful to readers by providing systematic guide for page makeup reading, the basic vocabulary for the concerned topics and the related background information.
2. Supplementary articles updated are viewed as an indispensable part of the course book. As a result, the compilers have considerably cut down the number of the articles in sample reading and shorten the length of the articles as well. The sample reading materials used in class only take about one half to three fourths of all the teaching materials. For example, if one unit a week takes 4 periods, the explanation of the sample article only takes two to three periods. The rest one to two periods are left for supplementary reading. In the exercises of each lesson, some suggestions are provided for the selection and the goals of the exercises. So teachers should be careful in selecting supplementary reading materials so as to stick to the syllabus and enhance students reading ability as well. Except some unexpected occurrences which can not be neglected, the teaching materials should involve sample reading and supplementary reading. In order to help teachers avoid unsystematic teaching materials, we provide some suggestions for selecting supplementary reading materials and exercises for reference at the end of each unit. As a result, the course book, Newspaper Reading, can be systematic, effective, practical and applicable.
Besides the points mentioned above, the compilers have also made the following efforts to develop readers ability in reading Chinese newspapers.
Firstly, great care is taken in teaching the general knowledge of Chinese newspapers. Chinese newspapers are neither complicated nor difficult to understand in terms of contents, kinds, page makeup and related words. However, without general knowledge of Chinese newspapers, the course will be no different from other reading courses which only focus on reading materials without any practical skill and students will not be able to understand Chinese newspapers on their own in practice. Besides, the general knowledge of Chinese newspapers will help foreign students to overcome some difficulties in reading and hence they will be motivated to read Chinese newspapers. As a matter of fact, the general knowledge of Chinese newspapers has been very popular among foreign students and is illustrated at the beginning of Volume One. To meet the needs of modern society, the general knowledge of network news reading is placed at the beginning of Volume Two.
Secondly, social and cultural background is introduced.
The principle of language learning and culture awareness is generally accepted in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. However, for various reasons, especially Chinas unique development history and some inappropriate reports at home and abroad, many foreign students lack not only Chinese culture background but also some necessary knowledge of the contemporary China. For example, many foreigners dont understand such terms as 十五期间 (during the Tenth Five Year Plan period) and 两会期间 (during the two conferences) unless they know a lot about the contemporary China. Therefore, instead of article-oriented background introduction, the compilers try to introduce the background information systematically so as to improve students ability in reading Chinese newspapers. Furthermore, the compilers attach more importance to background information with the hope to arouse students attention to and interest in the issues discussed.
Thirdly, vocabulary teaching is emphasized.
To have better understanding of newspapers, besides having awareness of the features of the newspapers language including written Chinese, abbreviations and useful patterns, one has to have a reasonably large vocabulary. Newspaper vocabulary development is nearly limitless for new words are coined and the meaning of words are developed continuously. This fact determines the uniqueness of newspaper vocabulary teaching. Therefore, the goal of the textbook is to develop students cognitive ability in vocabulary and vocabulary development on the basis of basic vocabulary in reading so as not only enlarge students vocabulary but also improve students reading competence.
For some newspaper textbooks, vocabulary teaching is carried on the basis of sample articles. This mode has some problems in enlarging students vocabulary and developing their reading ability. On the one hand, even the most ideal sample article can not cover all the aspects of vocabulary, especially the variants; on the other hand, it is boring to teach vocabulary for the sake of vocabulary, which is not helpful for students reading.
Therefore, the textbook pays more attention to vocabulary teaching along with the instruction towards sample article reading. Based on topics, Words and Comprehensive Exercises is provided after each unit to extend the words learned herein hoping to help students build a pool of such words and expressions which will facilitate the understanding of the articles related to the topic. The two kinds of open exercises, Guessing Words and Words Extension, are supplied as a trial hoping to develop students creative application of what has been learned and to widen their field of views. It is worth mentioning that at the beginning teachers should give a clear instruction towards what to do as those are quite new exercises. With their less and less dependence on the dictionary and teachers, students will become more and more independent in reading and developing their own vocabulary so as to improve their reading comprehension and efficiency.
Fourthly, prominence is given to discriminating key words.
To have precise understanding of the events, one has to gasp the point of view and attitudes of the reports, which is one of the criteria for testing ones ability in reading newspaper. Some words, which are slightly different in meaning and connotation, are very crucial in understanding a particular event, so the explanation and illustration of this kind of words is different in this textbook from that of some ordinary Chinese textbooks. For instance, 会见 and 会谈, 坦诚地交换意见 and 坦率地交换意见, 谈判, 磋商 and 交涉, 超过 and 突出 will bring some subtle differences in meaning. After each unit, therefore, the exercises of Words Differentiation is provided, which has been very popular among foreign students.
Furthermore, the course is only planned 16 lessons in order to set time aside for Background Information in each Unit Summary. In each volume, except Lesson 1, the other 15 lessons fall into five topics: Lesson 2-4 are about politics: Lesson 5-7, about economy: Lesson 8-10, about social life; Lesson 11-13, about science, education and culture (Volume One), social security (Volume Two); Lesson 14-16, about environmental protection, epidemic prevention, sports (Volume One), national unification, culture heritage, film and TV (Volume Two).
Best. Nr. 42.0046