A Guide to the Use of HSK Standard Course Level 1

TUESDAY 09 JUNE, 2015 | RSS Feed

HSK Standard Course I is suitable for learners of Chinese without systematic Chinese learning experience and those who are going to take the HSK Level 1 test.

I. The book is composed of IS lessons. Except Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 focusing on pronunciation. each of the rest lessons centers on a topic in three situations, each with 1-2 dialogues. Each lesson teaches 10-15 new words and presents notes on 3-4 language points. The book was written strictly abiding by the 150 words required in the Syllabus (with only 10 words not included in the Syllabus. which are words at Level 2 or 3, marked with “*" in the book). We suggest each lesson take 2-3 hours.

ll. Marking the beginning stage of pronunciation learning. Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 systematically introduce initials. finals. tones. syllabic structures and other basic phonetic knowledge. The aims are to help students comprehensively understand and master the basics of Chinese pronunciation and lay a sound foundation for further study. As a result. the demonstration and correction of pronunciation are the emphases and difficult parts in instruction. Pronunciation in this book is presented with illustrations and texts, striving to help students integrate pronunciation with meaning at the beginning stage of their Ieaming and to amuse their interest in learning. In this part, besides introducing phonetic knowledge, the texts also provide short and simple expressions in greeting. saying good-bye. expressing gratitude. and making apologies. etc. We suggest the pronunciation drills be combined with communicative exercises in teaching.

lll. Each of Lessons 3-l5 comprises 7 parts, namely, Warm-up, Text (with new words), Notes, Exercises, Pinyin. Characters and Application. A cultural note is designed after every five lessons. which introduces pertinent cultural background information.

I. Warm-up. In this part. pictures are used to lead in the key words and phrases. According to the teaching needs. the teacher can ask students to preview this part in order to bring their learning initiative into full play. Teachers can employ various means in using the pictures and words in class. which will intuitively help students learn the new language points and increase their interest and efficiency in Ieaming.

2. Text. Every text comprises three situations. each with 1-2 dialogues. In contrast to the repeated practice of the key sentence patterns and new words in traditional textbooks, this textbook focuses on the words in the Syllabus. selects words and expressions from the past HSK tests and presents them repeatedly in the dialogues of the texts in different situations. Such a design will familiarize students with real-life situations where the language is used. guide them to make a quick adaption to the change of situations. thus lay a sound foundation for the parts of listening and reading comprehension in the HSK Level I test.

3. Notes. The book deliberately puts less emphasis on grammar. The grammar points are explained with notes. Many tables are used to demonstrate them to ensure the explanations to he concise. clear and easy to understand. For arch grammar item. only the usage relevant to the current lesson is covered and provided with example sentences from wsy to difficult. of which the sentence in colored print is the one in the current lesson. The purposes of explaining language points with notes are twofold. On the one hand, it will alleviate the pressure of learning on and fear of difficulty of beginners; on the other hand, it implements the principles of “replacing lecttue with practice" and “doing more practice and having less lecture".

4. Exercises. The exercises are designed alter the notes in each lesson. in which the language points and key words learned in the current lesson are practiced. aiming to consolidate what’s just been learned and to train students‘ listening. speaking and communication skills. The types of the exercises include answering questions. describing pictures. completing sentences and group activities. etc. which conform to the question types in the elementary-level HSKK oral test and therefore prepare students for the test. The exercises are presented intuitively. The way of doing these exercises can be arranged flexibly by the teacher. Students can either do the exercises afler the explanation and practice of the text. or alter the teacher explains the grammar points. These exercises can also he used to evaluate students‘ learning at the end of the lesson.

5. Pinyin. In the part of pronunciation in Lessons 3-5. the pronunciation of the major and difficult finals and initials are differentiated. We suggat that teachers put emphasis on training in pronunciation rather than meaning of the words. It will be enough if students can pronounce the words correctly. Lessons 6-15 mainly introduce the tone collocation of disyllabic words. trisyllabic words. and words with a neutral tone. the first of which is the focus of instruction. The tone pattern of each disyllabic word is provided with an example word and illustration for students to imitate and memorize. which will provide reference for the tone pattems of other words in the later stage of learning.

6. Characters. This part teaches 17 strokes. 6 stroke orders. 7 structures of Chinese characters. 52 single-component characters and IS radicals. Teaching of single-component characters is conducted throughout the teaching of characters. Through a statistical study of the 600 words of Levels 1-3. the authors have included in Book I the most common 52 single-component characters with the strongest character-fanning ability. Lessons l-6 introduce the basic strokm. Starting in Lesson 7. radicals are taught. with each lesson introducing two easy. common radicals with strong character-forming ability. for each of which. two example characters are provided. Students mainly learn to recognize and read the characters of Level I; they are only required to write 17 basic strokes and 52 single-component characters.

7. Application. This part in Book 1 mainly includes interactionvoricnted pair work and communication-oriented group work to improve students' integrated language skills.

8. Culture. There are altogether 3 cultural notes in Book 1. which are presented in Lesson 5. Lesson 10 and Lesson 15 respectively. Targeted at the students of this level. three cultural notes about daily communication are selected. i.c.. asking about one's age in Chinese way. the characteristics of Chinese names. and common communication tools Chinese people often use. We suggest, while presenting the pictures and texts. teachers lead in some discussion and communication concerning Chinese culture. Intermediate language may be used.

The above are some directions and suggestions about the use of this textbook. You may use this textbook flexibly according to the actual teaching situations. For total beginners. this is their entry-level Chinese leaming material. We strive to make Chinese easier to learn. so that students could study the language happily. effortlessly and efiiciently. Upon finishing this book. students can check their language abilities and proficiency using the HSK test of the corresponding level. We hope this textbook can help every student have a good start and make further progress in their Chinese learning.

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