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Chinese Sentence Builders: A lexicogrammar approach

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Chinese Sentence Builders is a workbook aimed at beginner to pre-intermediate students co-authored by three modern languages educators with over 50 years of extensive classroom experience between the two, both in China, the UK and internationally.

This ‘no-frills’ book contains 19 units of work on very popular themes, jam-packed with graded vocabulary-building, reading, translation, retrieval practice and writing activities. Key vocabulary, lexical patterns and structures are recycled and interleaved throughout.

Each unit includes:

  • 一个汉语组句结构法的目标句型;

a sentence builder modelling the target constructions;

  • 一系列用以巩固组句结构法的组词练习;

a set of vocabulary building activities which reinforce the material in the sentence builder;

  • 通过不同的关注于文本意思层面和文本结构层面的练习来进行文本精读;

a set of narrow reading texts exploited through a range of tasks focusing on both the meaning and structural levels of the text;

  • 一系列的翻译练习旨在通过检索信息的练习(retrieval practice)进而巩固学习成效;

a set of translation tasks aimed at consolidation through retrieval practice;

  • 一系列的写作练习用于强化微写作技巧,如:拼写,对(词句)功能和(信息)位置的处理,编辑以及意义的传达。

a set of writing tasks targeting essential writing micro-skills such as spelling, functional and positional processing, editing and communication of meaning.

Alongside the macro-units you will find:

  • 语法单元:一到两页的定期频率练习。它们明确地关注于重要的语法结构,这些结构旨在提高生成组句结构法的能力。在这个层面的语法结构主要显现于巩固学生对于中文基本语序的理解,以及方位词的用法。需要注意的是这些语法单元通过定期在不同的语境中重访重要动词来循环使用它们。

grammar units: one or two pages of activities occurring at regular intervals. They explicitly focus on key grammar structures which enhance the generative power of the constructions in the sentence builders. At this level they mainly concern themselves with full conjugations of key verbs, with agreement and preposition usage. Note that these units recycle the same verbs many times over by revisiting at regular intervals but in different linguistic contexts;

  • 问题技巧单元:一到两页理解和提出问题的技巧。问题技巧单元在本书中以定期频率出现,目的在于在不同的语境中重读使用相同的问句句型。

question-skills units: one or two pages on understanding and creating questions. These micro-units too occur at regular intervals in the book, so as to recycle the same question patterns in different linguistic contexts;

  • 快速复习:这些单元中有旨在帮助学习者记住先前习得词汇的检索信息的练习(retrieval practice)

revision quickies: these are retrieval practice tasks aimed at keeping the previously learnt vocabulary alive. These too occur at regular intervals;

  • 自我测试:这些小单元出现于本书结尾部分。它们被分为两部分,给自信心不强的学习者和给自信心较强的学习者。

self-tests: these occur at the end of the book. They are divided into two sections, one for less confident and one for more confident learners.

Based on the Extensive Processing Instruction (E.P.I.) principle that learners learn best from comprehensible and highly patterned input flooded with the target linguistic features, the authors have carefully designed each and every text and activity to enable the student to process and produce each item many times over.