Customer Reviews of Integrated Chinese, Level 2: Workbook
This is an intense study of the chinese language, everything is included, reading, writing, etc. I purchased the book for a chinese 201 class at my college, and I am pleased at the progress I have made.
A solid continuation of Integrated Chinese I
This textbook serves as a solid continuation of its first-year Chinese counterpart, with a useful mix of review and new materials for the vast majority of students who will begin second year Chinese after a long summer hiatus. It does not baby you throuh every single grammar point and vocabulary item, but this is the preferred method since if one is to succeed in advanced Chinese he or she must be able to absorb a mix of familiar and unfamiliar characters and grammar points. This is an important skill which will be mandatory for anyone who pursues Chinese to an advanced level, as even those foreigners who think they are "fluent" in Chinese will consistently encounter characters and grammar points they do not know and must make educated guesses based on their knowledge of grammar and past vocabulary. As always, however, no textbook is a substitute for a poor teacher, and those students unfortunate enough to both be unmotivated and have a bad teacher will likely find this textbook frustrating due to the fact that is a model representation of what further studies in Chinese will inevitably encompass - that is, neverending frustration overcome only by long nights with a dictionary.
Integrated Chinese II includes both traditional characters and simplified, and introduces extremely useful vocabulary and grammar which will be essential for any intelligent speaker of Chinese to know. After over a year in Taiwan and China, and being more or less fluent, I still find my personal Chinese vocabulary largely made up of the vocabulary and grammar points first encountered in this textbook and learned back when I was in my second year Chinese class.
Simply put, for the motivated, serious student of Chinese who aspires to eventually fluency, there is no better textbook available. Those who feel otherwise are misplacing the inherent frustration of learning 3,000 Chinese characters mistakenly onto this textbook rather than on the nature of the Chinese language itself (and possibly their subpar teachers).
Integrated Chinese, Textbooks
I had gotten these books for my daughter who is taking Chinese, and we had to order these books online. These are the same books they use at her Chinese school. They make no sense to me, but she likes them, and they are helping her to thrive at learning the Chinese language. She has a vision problem, and the larger print also helps her to read the characters.
This was a good and cheap book. I paid a used book rate for a new book.
Good introductory textbook
This is a good introductory textbook for learning Chinese. It follows the standard format of dialogs followed by vocabulary lists and grammar explanations. The dialogs cover a variety of everyday topics, and refreshingly enough, are not centered around tourist activities like other textbooks. I would have liked to see more reading passages in addition to the dialogs; the textbook does not introduce reading passages until the latter half of the book (although I suppose it could be argued that students don't have the vocabulary to read much before then).
I have to disagree with the reviewer who claims that the book uses vocabulary which is never introduced. When I was using this book, I never encountered a word which was not in the chapter's vocabulary list or a previous chapter. Occasionally the chapter vocabulary even lists words that were introduced in previous chapters, but might have been forgotten.
I found the grammar explanations in this book helpful and easy to understand. The critical reviewer failed to mention that the grammar explanations provide example sentences which make the particular grammatical concept quite obvious (at least to me). Many Chinese textbooks use very formal language to describe simple grammatical concepts; Integrated Chinese is no exception, but the example sentences and any English dictionary will help you to understand them.
"de hua is a particle. It is used in a hypothetical clause. It must be followed by another clause"
A hypothetical clause is just that; a clause introducing some kind of hypothetical situation. "If X, then Y" - the first clause would be the hypothetical clause. The book clearly demonstrates this with example sentences(this is taken from page 106):
"If you are going, make sure that you give me a call."
"If Mother insists on my studying medicine, then I'm not going to college."
"sui zhe is used in the first clause to indicate a changed circumstance. The second clause introduces a concomitant change."
"Concomitant" means "accompanying", or something going "with" something. And this is exactly what the examples given in the book demonstrate:
"With economic development, people's living standards are improving."
"With economic development" here is the clause with the changed circumstance, "people's living standards are improving" is the concomitant change.
Integrated Chinese is as good a textbook as any for learning Chinese. I think the New Practical Chinese Reader series is a great choice as well, especially since they come with DVDs. You can find audio CDs for integrated Chinese, but you will have to purchase them from Cheng & Tsui at a premium.