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Integrated Chinese, Level 2: Textbook (C&T Asian Languages Series.) (Paperback)

Integrated Chinese, Level 2: Textbook (C&T Asian Languages Series.) (Paperback)
Author/Publisher: Daozhong Yao (Editor), Ted Yao (Editor)
Format: paperback
Emphasis: Chinese Textbook
Level: Intermediate
Note: Textbook by University of Southern California
List Price: $34.95

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Detailed information
Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Integrated Chinese Level 2 is intermediate-level textbook for students who have completed one year of study at the high school or college level, or for anyone seeking to communicate effectively in Chinese wherever it is spoken. This acclaimed, best-selling series is successful because it "integrates" all four language skills--listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Integrated Chinese helps you understand how the Chinese language works grammatically, and how to use Chinese in real life—how to understand it on the street, speak it on the telephone, read it in the newspaper, or write it in a report. The materials within Integrated Chinese’s set of textbooks, workbooks, character workbooks, and audio CDs are divided into sections of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Two types of exercises are used: traditional exercises (fill-in-the-blank, sentence completion, translation) to help learners build a solid grammatical foundation, and communication-oriented exercises (speaking drills, discussion topics, etc.) to prepare them to function in a Chinese language environment. Frequently, authentic materials written for native Chinese speakers and realia (newspaper clippings, signs, tickets, etc.) are used. Notes on language use and Chinese culture are found throughout the textbooks. In Level 2, simplified and traditional characters are combined in one book.

Product Details
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Cheng & Tsui; 1st edition (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0887272754
  • Product Dimensions: 1.0 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.0 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 9 reviews.

Spotlight Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

No!, February 25, 2004

Reviewer: Zachary Jon Turner (Houston, TX United States)

I wrote a fairly good review of the first level of this book. But this one is driving me crazy. It really seems like they rushed it to the shelves. EVERY CHAPTER, usually multiple times, they use words which they've simply never introduced. Good luck figuring out the meaning. Because guess what? Sometimes they're not even introduced during the whole course of the book! I'm doing the chapter 6 homework right now, and every single sentence uses words I've never seen before. And no, I didn't just learn them and forget them, I promise you they are nowhere to be found. On some occasions they actually ARE in the book, only 10 chapters ahead.

The grammar explanations are practically nonexistent. As an example, let me explain the grammar "...de hua" according to page 106 of this book.

"de hua is a particle. It is used in a hypothetical clause. It must be followed by another clause"

Hah! Is this supposed to be a grammar explanation? Give me a break. Here's another one, "sui zhe" from Chapter 15.

"sui zhe is used in the first clause to indicate a changed circumstance. The second clause introduces a concomittant change."

Good luck figuring out what that means, because that's all the explanation you get. Whatever a concomittant clause is, at least we know the second clause introduces one, eh? (Okay, fine, maybe it means a NONcomittant clause, but I don't even know what _that_ is).

So with that out of the way, let's talk about the structure. It's awful. Here's what a chapter consists of:

1) A monstrous dialogue
2) A list of about 50-60 vocabulary words
3) 2-3 pages of grammar (non)explanations
4) 3-4 pages of drill patterns that simply says "here's a word. put it in the blanks in the following sentence." Boy that sure requires some thought.
5) The end

So, it's pretty obvious what this book focuses on. Our school goes through one chapter a week, which is absolutely absurd in my opinion. How is one expected to retain 50-60 new words a week. Even in a PHONETIC language this is hard, but now we have to learn how to WRITE them too? But it's not the school's fault. Because what else is there to do in a chapter? A chapter consists of one dialog. I mean seriously, this is just stupid.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Good only if you use the online resources, November 6, 2003

Reviewer: C. Sahu "Cathy Sahu" (Southern California)

If Integrated Chinese, Level 2 were for any other language, I would say it was a lousy textbook. But, unfortunately, there don't seem to be that many good Mandarin Chinese textbooks available for college use. I may be wrong - I haven't seen all that many - but there must be some reason Integrated Chinese is used at so many colleges, and that reason is probably that not many other, better ones are available.

One problem is that the vocabulary translations are poor - it would be better, when a word is a compound of two characters, to give a separate meaning to each character - this makes it easier to memorize each character.

Also, there is no English translation to the text, and it's not always obvious what the sentences mean, even when you have translated every individual word. (The examples in the grammar section are, however, translated into English.)

And the other reviewer is right about the poorly explained grammar - there is so much IC2 doesn't even begin to explain, and what it does explains it does an incomplete job of, not answering the obvious questions any student would have. To be fair, however, comparing Chinese to English grammar is very difficult, and a thorough exploration of all the differences in each short text or narrative would take a couple dozen extra pages. (A good book for beginning grammar is "Chinese Made Easy.")

Now, to the advantages of IC2: Everything in the textbook is given in both traditional and simplified characters, except for the index at the back of the book. (See caveat about workbook below.)

The workbook has a good amount of exercises and also an additional text, a little story or anecdote (that you also have to look up the vocabulary for, however). As another reviewer noted, though, the workbook is mostly in traditional characters: only the additional texts are given in both traditional and simplified; all the exercises are in traditional only. (Once again, editorial inconsistency.)

A final, and most important, advantage is that there are lots of resources for the IC series on the Internet. Lots of teachers who use this textbook have set up websites for their students (and everyone else who surfs) with voice recordings of the text, simplified transliterations, pinyin transliterations, flashcards that you can print out, flashcard and other games that you can play on line, grammar lessons, etc. All you need to do is search "Integrated Chinese," "Integrated Chinese English translation text," etc., for what you need to supplement an otherwise frustrating text.
And, of course, buy a few additional references like "Chinese Made Easy," "Oxford Starter Chinese Dictionary," McNaughton's "Reading & Writing Chinese," etc. The "Oxford Starter Dictionary" I especially recommend.


Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Great textbook if you are willing to work, January 24, 2005

Reviewer: Pravit (New Mexico, USA)

This is a great textbook for people who are willing to take time, work, and learn the language. I found the grammar explanations simple and accompanied with plenty of examples in both Chinese and English. There are minor typos(for example, sometimes a traditional version of a character is written on the simplified page), but they really do not detract from the quality of the book. The chapters are composed of a large dialogue followed by a vocabulary list and grammar explanations, as well as some exercises. However, he is exaggerating their use of words not previously introduced. The dialogues do not use any words which have not been introduced in an earlier chapter(and in some cases they actually list words that they have already listed in previous chapters). However, it is true that in the grammar examples some words are used that were not introduced earlier - however, since these are accompanied by English translation, there is really no problem there. The dialogues were interesting and a pleasant departure from most other textbooks that follow the amazing adventures of two Western tourists to the ticket office. The dialogues cover everyday conversation topics, and most of the chapters include a reading selection about Chinese culture. I did find the exercises in the book a bit lacking, but this is why the book comes with a workbook. At any rate, I found one dialogue to be enough - they were indeed "monster" in size, as the reviewer below stated. I found the grammar explanations sufficient and clear. For anyone who has put back by the explanations the reviewer below quoted, I will explain 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 examples(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 concomittant change."
It is easy to understand why the reviewer below did not understand this; he did state that he was working on the Chapter 6 homework, so it would not be unreasonable to expect that he would not understand a grammatical concept introduced 9 chapters later. But it seems his main gripe is with the word "concomitant." If he would take the time to open a dictionary, he would see that it 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(or, if you don't like the word "concomitant", the change that comes with the first one).

In short, if you are not afraid of big words, and you have a decent Chinese-English dictionary, the textbook should be a pleasure to work through. It certainly was for me.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

A solid continuation of Integrated Chinese I, April 4, 2004
Reviewer: A reader
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).


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Good, yet has faults, April 4, 2004

Reviewer: Meng Peide (Seattle, WA)

Although this book and its accompanying workbook are not as strong as the first year level, I still appreciate this textbook. One of the best aspects of this book is the combination of speaking Chinese and written Chinese, which I have discovered at Tsinghua to be so very, very different. I might be able to understand everything that was said in class, but at an accompanying page in the textbook, it may take some time to uncover the same thing. IC2 is solid preparation for what should be third year level when you should be focusing on reading.
I do not necessarily think this book should be a year long course (as I am on the quarter system at University of Washington, I think two quarters would be adequate). With the foundation that the level 1 books provide, I think the number of vocab words is appropriate to the level, in fact may be too few. The words have been useful here; the later sections allow for conversations (albeit somewhat shallow) into political topics and societal issues. And believe me, these are things that many Chinese want to talk about with foreigners, particularly ones from the States. Explanations although at times unclear, are generally solid. One critic pointed to flaws for things that should not even be in IC2 since they appear in level 1.
People have pointed to the problems of the workbook texts and the traditional/simplified issue. These books are designed push your Chinese and require instructor supplementing, but using a dictionary to look up the new words should not take long (dictionary skills are VERY important when you start reading real texts). I am firm believer that a person's foundation (at least a couple hundred characters) should be in traditional and later switch over to simplified even if they have no intention of going to Taiwan or Hong Kong. Traditional characters are still widely used on the mainland in signs, menus, and in hand-writing. There are also many cultural relics (like stelas) that used traditional characters. If the culture has appeal, then traditional characters are an absolute necessity. Moreover, things like karaoke (KTV) make traditional characters a must. There is a very ordered system for turning traditional to simplified and it takes only days to figure out completely, but it is impossible to go the other way around.
Although the book has some shortcomings and in some cases the explanations are a little tough, the benefits outweigh the defects. It introduces cultural idioms and issues with which all Chinese can identify with. As for the typos and mistakes, the second edition is coming to press soon and these errors will be redressed. But with a proper instructor, these errors are not a significant detriment to IC2.


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Worst Chinese textbook I have ever read, December 12, 2003

Reviewer: Edward A. Adamski (University in North America)

I recently finished a semester of university Chinese using this book. After finishing the course, I wrote a letter to the publishers of this book trying to explain the errors in their effort. I did not even have time or the energy to cover the mistranslations, merely the most obvious ones such as not using simplified Chinese in the simplified sections and only having the barest framework of simplified Chinese.
I also felt the grammar sections, aside from being only in traditional Chinese, counter to its subtitle claim as being 'Traditional and Simplified Character Edition', were at best poorly, and often times totally without explanation. I believe that the material selected was not chosen with much thought. I lived in China for several years where I learned how to speak the language quite well. I made it a point to speak more Chinese than English every day, yet only two or three times in those years would I have wished to have reviewed any of the chapters in this book. I cannot even recommend this book for use as a coaster for the table.


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