Series Name

Edexcel GCSE Chinese Student Book

Part of the Edexcel GCSE Chinese series

Publication Date
August 2009

Presenting Edexcel's resources for the 2009 GCSE specification

The Edexcel GCSE Chinese Student Book is designed to appeal to teenagers and give your students a true picture of life in China while covering all aspects of the new specification.

  • Photos and illustrations in authentic contexts make every lesson interesting and show students what everyday life is like in China.

  • Controlled Assessment spreads in every chapter help students prepare for the writing and speaking assessments.

  • Tips and advice on improving learning in ResultsPlus sections.

  • A wide variety of activities on every spread so you can differentiate your teaching to suit students of all abilities.

  • Strong focus on learning Chinese characters with tips, advice and vocabulary boxes throughout and a section on Chinese character acquisition at the back of the book.

  • Discrete extension units provide extra stretch activities for more able students.

Audio files to accompany our Student Books are sold separately.

Customer Reviews

Nereide Fox, Trainee Teacher
Learn Chinese in London
30 June 2010

Bibliographic Citation Hua Yan, Linying Liu, Michelle Tate, Lisa Wang, Yu Bin and Xiaoming Zhu. Edexcel GCSE Chinese. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited, 2009. Summary of content Edexcel GCSE Chinese is arranged by GCSE topic with chapters covering: my life, school, leisure, media, where I live, holidays, food and drink, lifestyle and the world of work. The textbook contains a significant amount of the grammar and vocabulary set out in the new GCSE specification. Basic grammar concerned with Chinese numbers, common nouns or measure words, for example, are not included as prior knowledge of Mandarin is assumed. There are nine chapters and in an average chapter there are approximately: 16 reading exercises, 9 writing exercises, 15 listening exercises and 6 speaking exercises. Useful exam tips concerning how to maximise marks appear throughout the textbook. Context It is assumed that users of Edexcel GCSE Chinese have prior knowledge of Chinese characters, how they are written and their pronunciation. Within Edexcel GCSE Chinese, typical requirements of students include: read the characters out loud, write your answers in Chinese, look up the characters in a dictionary. As knowledge of Chinese is assumed, no pinyin table is provided, the section on writing Chinese at the back of the book is on the brief side and no explanation for using dictionaries is given. In case of beginners the teacher would be required to spend time filling in the knowledge gap. Alternatively, students could undertake a separate course for beginners in advance of using Edexcel GCSE Chinese. Organisation of chapters Edexcel GCSE Chinese is clearly set out by GCSE topic, which is useful for students developing their vocabulary and understanding in respect of a particular topic. Speaking, listening, writing and reading practice are mixed together in each chapter. This format gives teachers flexibility to test different abilities of the students. However, as the GCSE examination is split into the four units of speaking, listening, reading and writing, the structure of the textbook makes it difficult for students to revise specific units before each exam. This is perhaps a significant issue as the skills required for reading, writing, speaking and listening are different. The focus for teaching these skills is also different. The textbook could potentially offer a more practical approach if it were divided up into reading, writing, speaking and listening sections with sub-sections on topic areas. Illustrations Edexcel GCSE Chinese is very well illustrated which maintains students’ interest and helps association between characters and their meanings. The photos and illustrations accurately convey everyday life in China. Practical exercises There are a variety of activities in each chapter which is helpful in maintaining the interest of the students. Further, there are lots of practical exercises that follow the testing methodology in each exam which provide students with important practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening. There are also useful discrete extension units at the end of each chapter which provide more able students with additional challenges to develop their abilities. Edexcel GCSE Chinese suggests carrying out speaking exercises with a partner. Learning to speak Chinese, particularly if you are not Chinese, generally requires significant practice recording and playing back sounds, then comparing them against a Chinese voice. The approach adopted in some of the speaking exercises may not achieve aptitude in spoken Chinese for non-Chinese students as the necessary sound feedback is missing. Glossary Edexcel GCSE Chinese is quite difficult to navigate when it comes to revision of grammar or looking up vocabulary. The glossary does not allow the user to look up Chinese characters using stroke number, radical or Pinyin. There is vocabulary at the end of each chapter and at the back of the book however some of the Chinese characters shown in the book are not defined anywhere. The problem with having vocabulary at the end of a chapter and not all in one place is that if a student needs to look up a character he or she may have forgotten which chapter to go to. It would be better to have all of the vocabulary in a glossary which could be searched using English meaning, Pinyin, radical, and stroke number. Grammatical explanations Several reading exercises include difficult grammar but Edexcel GCSE Chinese sometimes omits the description of how it functions. For example 的is used in the sentence 我常常听中文的新音乐on page 10 but no explanation for the character and its use appears before or immediately after the reading exercise. Extra-curricular knowledge Edexcel GCSE Chinese includes some interesting information that is not entirely relevant to the GCSE exam, for example, reading about Cui Jian on the internet in English on page 22. This could take up student’s time in the evening and does not directly help them advance their GCSE Chinese reading skills. Conclusion Edexcel GCSE Chinese is successful in covering the main topics of the specification and deals with the grammar requirements beyond the basic level. There are plenty of illustrations and a significant amount of useful practice exercises for students. The textbook is possibly let down by its structure as revising for a reading examination, for example, would necessitate finding the parts in each chapter relevant to reading. It is also difficult to look up specific grammar items and to find vocabulary.

Delivery and returns

Delivery costs for physical products are £4.50 for UK customers, and is dependent on weight for international customers. Please note there is no delivery charge for digital products.

Inspection/approval items and evaluation packs for UK establishment account customers are delivered free of charge with free returns.


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