Google full text of our books:


First Step:
An Elementary Reader for Modern Chinese
Chih-p’ing Chou, Jing Wang & Jun Lei

Paperback | 2014 | $49.50 / £41.95 | ISBN: 9780691154206
368 pp. | 8 1/2 x 11 | 40 color illus. 1 line illus. 17 tables.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400850495 |
Our Kindle edition is available here

Enhanced iBook | ISBN: 9781400851157
Our Apple iBooks edition is available here

eTextbook | ISBN: 9781400850495
Our Kno eTextbook is available here

Endorsements | Table of Contents
Preface pdf-icon | Introduction pdf-icon | Chapter 1 pdf-icon

First Step: Workbook for Modern Chinese

AUDIO FILES: Text | Vocabulary | Workbook

First Step is an elementary Chinese textbook for students with no previous background in the language. Focusing on the basics of modern Chinese phonetics and grammatical structure, the book uses everyday topics to help students establish a solid foundation in the Chinese language.

The textbook, which includes color illustrations, contains thirty lessons, each of which can be covered in a week's worth of classes. Each lesson features a lively dialogue or a short essay, representing a real-life situation, which is then followed by vocabulary lists and grammar notes. Explanatory notes on Chinese culture and customs are also provided. The companion workbook for First Step is sold separately and includes comprehensive exercises and character writing sheets with information on the stroke orders of newly introduced characters. Free online audio files, accessible on smartphones, tablets, and laptops, allow students to listen to First Step dialogues and practice their pronunciation at their leisure. This vital audio supplement gives students the chance to learn Chinese intonation with greater accuracy.

First Step provides students with the necessary tools to begin practical daily communication in Chinese.

  • Emphasis is on basic grammar structure and principles
  • Textbook features both traditional and simplified characters, pinyin, and English translation
  • Perforated workbook (which is sold separately) facilitates easy handling of homework
  • Free audio recordings of dialogues and other content available online
  • Appropriate for college and high school students

Chih-p'ing Chou is professor of East Asian studies at Princeton University and director of the university's Chinese language and Princeton in Beijing programs. Jing Wang is senior lecturer in Chinese at Princeton. Jun Lei is a former lecturer in Chinese at Princeton.


"First Step is the most recent step in the wonderful Y. R. Chao tradition of teaching Chinese language to speakers of English. It begins with essential foundation work in pronunciation, then offers simple, natural, and witty dialogues, followed by tight, clear explanations of grammar, notes on culture, introductions to reading and writing--in both simplified and traditional characters--and a comprehensive set of exercises. It is everything one could want in a first-year textbook."--Perry Link, University of California, Riverside

"C. P. Chou and his colleagues have produced a much-needed textbook for all those who truly wish to learn Chinese well. First Step masterfully balances dialogues, texts, grammar, and exercises to help students achieve accuracy and fluency, as well as linguistic competence and cultural awareness. Its contents are intimately relevant to campus life and daily situations, and both the textbook and workbook supplements are easy to use and extremely helpful. Continuing the great tradition started by Y. R. Chao more than seventy years ago, First Step provides a clear path to building solid Chinese skills."--Lening Liu, Columbia University

"I am impressed by this textbook's practical approach, its contemporary and colloquial feel, the variety of exercises included, and the detailed grammatical explanations in each lesson. The authors use current vocabulary and grammatical structures throughout, and their experience shines through. This book is a great addition to the field."--Baozhang He, College of the Holy Cross

More Endorsements

Table of Contents

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Chih-p'ing Chou:

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Jing Wang:

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Jun Lei:


Subject Area:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our Kindle edition is available
from this vendor:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Our eTextbook is available
    from these vendors:

  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kno eBook Store

  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

  • Shopping Cart:

    • For ebooks:

    Our Enhanced eBook editions are available
    from these online vendors:

  • Apple iBooks

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback $49.50 | ISBN: 9780691154206

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback £41.95 | ISBN: 9780691154206

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 9/13/2015

    Questions and comments to: webmaster@press.princeton.edu
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Asian and Asian American Studies
    More Choices