Here is information regarding your textbook. All sections of ALESN Mandarin I use the same textbook, which is Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 1 THIRD EDITION Textbook. You can choose either Traditional or Simplified Character Version -- in fact, you have to choose one or the other.
Let me briefly explain, and then the choice is up to you. It is NOT a big decision, because I will not be teaching characters this year. If you intend to learn Chinese characters on your own or via one of our Saturday ALESN classes, or perhaps at another school or with a private tutor, then you need to make a decision, however. I will make the choice very straight-forward for you:
- If your family is from Mainland China or you intend to spend most of your time visiting or speaking with people from Mainland China as opposed to Hong Kong or Taiwan, then you should purchase the SIMPLIFIED CHARACTER EDITION.
- If your family is from Hong Kong or Taiwan, or you intend to spend most of your time visiting one of these 2 places as opposed to Mainland China, then you should purchase the TRADITIONAL CHARACTER EDITION.
- If you intend to visit Mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan on a regular basis, then choose the one you will visit more often and pick the Character Edition of your textbook accordingly.
- If you have no idea what the hell I am talking about and you have no preference or no desire to learn to read or write Chinese, but you want to purchase a physical book, then simply purchase the cheapest used copy you can find of EITHER CHARACTER EDITION in a condition that will make you happy.
Unlike the Cantonese textbook that I am using this year, your Mandarin I textbook is NOT public domain. The copyright is still very much alive on this title, which means that we cannot and will not give out links to download free PDFs of this book. However, many of our students are very clever and have found the book online as a PDF, which they have been able to download to their laptops, tablets, or phones, and even print out and put in notebook binders.
DO NOT ASK AN ALESN INSTRUCTOR HOW TO FIND A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK ONLINE.
The book as well as the CD set designed to go with this level are available online for those who know where to look. In fact, last year, the entire audio CD set was available as a free mp3 download from iTunes, and the textbook was available for free download from the official website of a university in Asia for much of the 2016-2017 academic year, before it was taken down. I do not know about this year.
Here are links to the official Amazon listings for your textbook:
Simplified Character Edition:
Traditional Character Edition:
There may be other third party vendor links on Amazon for the same 2 editions. Just make sure that you get THIRD EDITION TEXTBOOK. It must be Third Edition, and it must be the Textbook -- not the workbook or character workbook.
We will start right away tomorrow night with the first pronunciation exercises in the introduction to this book, once I go over the basics of the course as well as my teaching philosophy and once I answer any general questions.
DO NOT PURCHASE A PHYSICAL TEXTBOOK IF YOU ARE UNCERTAIN ABOUT YOUR LEVEL OF INTEREST IN LEARNING MANDARIN CHINESE IN OUR PROGRAM!!!
This is an expensive book, even used, if you choose to purchase it, and we cannot be responsible for any of you feeling like you wasted money if you decide that Mandarin is too difficult for you, or if you wind up having a scheduling conflict and need to quit our program.
ONE FINAL NOTE TO ALL BEGINNING MANDARIN STUDENTS:
You must plan to set aside time for the duration of this course -- MULTIPLE TIMES EACH WEEK -- to LISTEN TO SOME KIND OF BEGINNER LEVEL MANDARIN AUDIO OR WATCH BEGINNER LEVEL YOUTUBE VIDEOS!!! 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."
We will discuss this theme many times during this course, and I will suggest many different beginner level Mandarin audio and video resources that you can study during your journey towards basic conversational ability in the language.
Thanks for reading and see you in class!