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Language and social issues combined in new Chinese textbook

14 January 2022

The second in a series of textbooks for advanced learners of Chinese has been co-authored by a School of Modern Languages lecturer.

Chinese lecturer, Wei Shao is one of the authors behind Social Perspective: An Intermediate-Advanced Chinese Course: Volume II. Co-authored with Shao’s former colleagues from the University of Leeds, Yi Ning, Jing Fang, Zhengrong Yang and Esther Tyldesley, the new book addresses a critical gap in the market for Chinese learners. Very few universities offer Chinese at an advanced level and as a result, the majority of teaching materials on the market are tailored to beginner and intermediate levels.

It is hoped that the book, which was published in December 2021, will contribute uniquely to the way in which Chinese language is taught at an advanced level internationally by progressing learners’ language competency through study of a natural connection between Chinese language learning and contemporary Chinese social issues.

As Shao explains, “There are a range of social issues in China, such as the use of artificial intelligence and the increasing gap between the wealthy and poor, that have come about due to the country’s rapid economic development. Our textbook incorporates these contemporary issues and uses them as a way to facilitate language learning and cultural awareness in the classroom.”

Readers of the book will have the opportunity to engage with original, modern Chinese texts which are designed to facilitate reading, writing, debate, groupwork and critical reflection. Key grammar points such as colocations, speech patterns and idioms are also explained.

The first volume of Social Perspective: An Intermediate-Advanced Chinese Course(which was published in May 2021) is used as the core textbook for the final year language module of the BA Chinese and BA Modern Chinese programmes at the School of Modern Languages and has received overwhelming positive feedback from students regarding its engaging content.

Speaking of the books, Shao said, “I am thrilled that both volumes of the textbook series are finally available on the international market. l hope they will be a valuable resource to fellow colleagues and students here in the UK and abroad.”

Shao is currently working on a book in collaboration with his former colleagues at the Open University. Developing Online Language Pedagogies aims to provide practitioners with solid, research-based pedagogical advice and examples from realistic online teaching experience following the mass introduction of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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