Multimedia Spoken Chinese can be used as self-study material and very little guidance is needed from a language instructor. The material is supported by a large number of sound and video files to make the learning of the language easier for you. A variety of drills and exercises will help you consolidate what you have learned. The steps of each lesson are colour coded to the spectrum: red (vocabulary), orange (sentence patterns), yellow (dialogues), green (translation exercises), blue (role play exercises) and purple (revisions).
There are six lessons. Each of the first three lessons contains five sections: Vocabulary, Sentences, Dialogue, Translation and Role play. The Role play section is replaced by a Revision section in the lessons 4, 5, and 6.
The core material is written in simplified characters, the full-form version only appearing in Vocabulary, "Vocabulary index" and the "Sentence index".
If you click on the Chinese words in the first column of the Sentence index, it will take you back to the explanations. The numbers in the last column are links for the relevant lessons.
Do I need any particular background or preparations to start using the material?
Multimedia Spoken Chinese CD is written for second or third year students a Chinese BA degree course. However, it is also suitable for people who have already covered basic Chinese grammar in for example Practical Chinese Reader books I and II or Colloquial Chinese by T'ung and Pollard. It is also suitable for people who have been attending Chinese evening classes for at least three years and who are keen on learning some more authentic Chinese expressions.
How long will I need to finish the material?
There are six lessons in Multimedia Spoken Chinese, covering over 350 words and over 100 sentence patterns. You will need approximately 40 hours over a period of 20 - 25 weeks to finish all the materials on the CD and in the book.
Multimedia Spoken Chinese CD consists of a Learning part and a Practising part.
You should start with Vocabulary. Try to learn the new words and to remember their pronunciation before going on to Sentences. After reading through the explanations for Sentences, you can test your knowledge of the new words that you have just learned, using the example sentences. In order to apply these expressions correctly you should always listen to how they are spoken by native speakers. You can hear an example sentence spoken by clicking once on the sentence. Try to repeat the sentence as many times as possible. Do not put your mouse on an example sentence until you have worked out the meaning yourself. If the mouse is placed on an example sentence, the English translation will pop up on the screen. When you have learned all the sentences in a lesson you can relax a little and watch the Dialogue video clip to see how the sentences are used in normal conversations. A written script of the Dialogue is displayed in a text box below a video clip.
The Practising part helps you apply what you have learned from the lessons to real situations. This part consists of two sections: Translation and Role play. If you place the mouse on a sentence in the Translation section, the Chinese translation of the sentence will pop up on the screen. If you click on a sentence, you can hear how the Chinese translation should be spoken. Each Role play exercise consists of Hints and Answer supported by video files. You can find alternative answers to the role play tasks in the Comment section of each exercise. The questions in the Revision section supply answers which are displayed either in Screen Tips or in Hyperlinks.