Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Reposting Cantonese I Textbook Information for New Students at ALESN

Hi Everyone,

Because I am going to create a Mandarin I post in a moment with information about their textbook, I thought I would copy and paste textbook information for your class as well, so it will be the newest blog entry in your category until we meet next Monday:

Here is a download link for the Cantonese textbook that I will be teaching from this year, so you can see what I intend to cover and how the textbook is laid out. The book is taught in ROMANIZED CANTONESE (no Chinese Characters), which allows us to focus on pronunciation and tones, especially for speakers of other dialects of Chinese:

The textbook is called Cantonese Basic Course by Elizabeth Latimer Boyle or E Boyle. It is often referred to as "FSI Cantonese" or "Foreign Service Institute Cantonese Basic Course," and was created by the US Government in the mid to late 1960s to help foreign diplomats and military personnel learn to speak Cantonese while being stationed in Hong Kong:

Students can click the left icon for Volume 1, which will be our specific textbook. Volume 2 is more advanced, for you to study on your own after completing my class.

I clicked on both the PDF and the first mp3 to verify that they work in both streaming mode and as right click downloads. This is probably the best / quickest free source online and the PDF looks like a good quality scan. The first mp3 is also very clear to listen to. This is a public domain textbook, which means that any and all versions that you might find online should be downloadable for free without restriction. DO NOT PAY FOR AN E-VERSION OF THIS BOOK.

You must plan to set aside time for the duration of this course -- MULTIPLE TIMES EACH WEEK -- to listen to the appropriate lesson from among the 20 - 30 HOURS OF MP3 AUDIO included with this download! The only way you can improve at speaking a foreign language with pronunciation very different from your first language is to hear that language over and over again, and to try to replicate the sounds of the new language over and over again -- each time getting closer, eventually "getting it right."

If you are a fan of reading real books like me, there are multiple versions of this title available for purchase on Amazon. I recommend the Hippocrene reprinted edition, which is standard trade paperback size, has excellent binding and print quality, and looks the best as a physical book. You may also find the original US Government green covered textbook on Amazon; these are fine, but tend to fall apart due to age (circa 1970). Most of my students last year either used tablets or printed the textbook and put it in a binder, which they brought to class. If you are accepted to this class via the initial registration process as opposed to being placed on our waitlist, please print or bring the first lesson with you to the first class, because I will be starting right away, and I will not be distributing copies in class.

As of September 27, 2017, here are some links on Amazon for different editions of our textbook, if you would like to purchase physical book. There appear to be many copies currently available for under $5 as I type this:

Thanks for reading and I look forward to teaching you this year!

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