New Practical Chinese Reader (新实用汉语)

The New Practical Chinese Reader (NPCR) is a series of textbooks published by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press (associated with the Confucius Institute Programme) and is designed to help native English speakers learn Chinese. It is compiled under the new NOTCFL syllabus in accordance with the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) Guidelines.

The NPCR has six volumes containing 70 lessons, encompassing beginner to intermediate levels for three years of instruction. Each volume comes with a student’s workbook and an instructor’s manual together with audio and video materials.

The main objective of the NPCR is to help students develop their ability to communicate in Chinese by teaching language structure, language function and related cultural knowledge. It also trains students to listen, speak, read and write in Chinese. Most of the lessons are composed of three main texts with grammatical explanations, speaking and writing exercises, and pronunciation drills.

  1. It took me a while to finally decide on which book to use to learn Mandarin/Chinese. I was looking for one with Pinyin as well as Chinese characters. This book looks like the best among those I have checked and so far, it lives up to that expectation. I had a Chinese friend who looked at the book and she also agreed that it seems like a good material. I would recommend this book to any beginner who wants to learn to write and speak Mandarin.

  2. At first I found the audio too fast and hard to understand. I can hardly catch up with it especially that it is throwing so much Mandarin. The book is great, but you have to be patient with the audio especially if you are a new student.

    Another issue for me is that it does not have a number table and it teaches counting extremely late in the text. They could have put it earlier on as they teach concepts that require understanding of numbers and operations. It can be frustrating when the book you are using is not as concise and simple to understand and follow until much later in the text. Overall, they are helpful books and you can still learn a lot from them especially if you have a good teacher.

  3. I am trying to learn Chinese on my own and I am using this book as my primary learning material. After 3 months of using it, I can say that I have already learned a lot. I like these books as well as the CD for pronunciation practice that comes with it. Each lesson also features a couple of brief conversations around the topic. They are good for practical applications. They are very helpful. I recommend that you get the workbook as you need that for extra exercises.

  4. This is an excellent book for learning Chinese. It is ideal for college students and adults. Each chapter is fairly challenging and interesting as they feature typical scenarios such as going to a party with friends, meeting your professor, buying things, etc. I have already learned a lot from this book and its companion materials. They helped me listen and speak like a native. I like that it also emphasizes on reading and writing (as opposed to other materials that only focus on hearing and speaking.

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