Due to the rapid increase of students
taking Chinese courses, many of whom are
the need for advanced-level
teaching materials grows more
urgent by the day.
As far as the context of teaching Chinese as a foreign
the term "advanced"
typically refers to college students who have learnt only two
or three years of Chinese. Their oral proficiency ought to allow them to handle situations in
daily life. Their reading and writing abilities, however, are restricted
to reading newspaper
articles and writing simple essays or emails.
In the market,
there exist many "advanced"
Chinese textbooks that have been designed for students of this proficiency.
But in recent years, the steady increase of American students returning from study
abroad in China, as well as of Chinese-Americans
taking Chinese courses, has gradually
shifted the teaching of advanced Chinese as a "foreign language" in the direction of teaching it
as a "native language"
instead. For these students, selections of newspaper articles, and even
works of modem and contemporary Chinese literature, do not pose enough of a challenge in
learning of the language;
studying classical Chinese per se
is not something
especially interests them either. Concerning students of this level, the problem that advanced
level Chinese materials
face is the question of how to transcend
their utility as merely
If we confine ourselves
to merely newspaper
and modem or
the teaching materials
selected will inevitably remain scattered
and without a unifying core. Students whose abilities have progressed beyond "daily life"
and/or whose hope is to read original classics will be dissatisfied with such course materials.
This problem is particularly salient for Chinese-American
students, some of whom attended
primary school - or even middle or high school - in China before immigrating
to the U.S.
with their parents. Upon attending college, many of them are st