Practical Audio-Visual Chinese
Taiwanese language schools have been using the Practical Audio-Visual Chinese series for decades. You may find that the earlier versions use some slightly out-of-date vocabulary words, as they were originally written in the time of CD-ROMs and VCRs. However, the series recently underwent a makeover that seems to have brought the content up to speed with modern technology. Unlike many textbooks that contain short dialogues that students can use to practice speaking, some of the dialogues in this series extend up to five pages long. However, the idioms, phrases, and content of these dialogues are true to Taiwanese culture and everyday conversation. Listening or reading the text feels more like entering a movie scene than it does reading a university textbook. Each chapter has an extensive vocabulary section that focuses on new words and words with similar characters. There are additional exercises in the grammar section, speaking activities, comics, and material straight from newspaper articles or magazines. You will also find a section that compiles the grammar and vocabulary words from the chapter into a short essay written both by hand and on the computer. Overall, Practical Audio-Visual Chinese is a practical resource for anyone learning traditional Chinese characters. If you purchase these textbooks in Taiwan, they are only about $35 USD. Online, however, the prices vary. Make sure you differentiate between purchasing the full textbook or the accompanying workbook!