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
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: