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An Invitation to Chinese
by Jiaying Howard, Lanting Xu

Huanying, Cheng & Tsui’s Chinese curriculum designed for secondary schools, was developed in accordance with ACTFL National Standards to meet the growing need for high-school materials. Set in an international school in Shanghai, Huanying's storyline follows the lives of a diverse group of students, both at school and at home to embed extensive language practice in a meaningful context. Huanying engages students in interactive and integrated language practice through fun and meaningful activities, contemporary topics that appeal to secondary school students, a full-color textbook design, and additional resources that will reduce teacher preparation time and allow teachers to focus on teaching.  The four-volume series covers four years of instruction at the secondary school level, and is perfect for pre-AP* and AP* Preparation.

Huanying is organized around topics that are essential to everyday communication, such as greetings, family, common items, dates and times, transportation, food and drink, and school. Volumes 1 and 2 each contain six units; Volumes 3 and 4 have four units. Each unit has five new lessons and one review lesson. Volumes 1 and 2 introduce approximately 500 essential vocabulary terms each, while Volume 3 introduces over 400 words. In addition, Volume 1 includes about 150 supplementary words and Volume 2 includes about 300 supplementary words. Volumes 3 and 4 have around 200 supplementary words each. Huanying’s simple, yet systematic, language notes introduce students to accurate and natural use of the language. Activities in the corresponding Huanying workbooks are skill-integrated, meaning nearly all exercises involve two or more language skills; this structure mirrors real-life usage and helps improve students’ overall language proficiency.

 Huanying contains the perfect mix of ingredients to ensure that the students’ learning experience is continuously intertwined with the “5-Cs” of foreign language learning—communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and communities—as established by the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. The Huanying series contains a wealth of cultural information, exposing students to modern Chinese life while giving them an important grounding in Chinese idioms, legends, and traditions. By starting with a communicative approach and combining it with carefully crafted activities that embed repetitive language practice in a meaningful context, the authors of Huanying have created a practical and fun learner-centered experience for secondary school students.

In this Series

  •  Each volume covers one full year of learning material. Volume 1 and 2 introduce approximately 500 essential vocabulary terms each. Volume 3 introduces over 300 words. In addition, Volume 1 includes about 150 supplementary words and Volume 2 includes about 300 supplementary words.
  • Textbooks and workbooks feature photos, drawings, maps, and tables that engage students visually and encourage learning in a practical context.
  • Cultural notes help students understand Chinese culture and make comparisons between Chinese culture and their own.
  • Learning goals at the beginning of each textbook unit outline a clear purpose for the unit.
  • Self-assessment checklists at the end of each unit allow teachers to easily assess students’ strengths and weaknesses, and give students a sense of accomplishment as they monitor their own progress.
  • Say goodbye to repetitive and boring language drills! Huanying workbooks offer a variety of fun and creative communicative activities for the classroom, including informal interviews, presentations, and paired games such as “find your lost twin,” the spy game, “adopt a pet,” celebrity bingo, and more.
  • Teacher’s books feature all student workbook activities with answer keys; many useful suggestions on how to facilitate a learner-centered, interactive classroom setting; and templates for quizzes and unit tests that will save teachers hours of preparation time.
  • An online companion site features free audio recordings to go with the textbook and workbook, plus additional activities.

...this is a well-designed, well-written, informative, interesting textbook with a high quality of scholarship and accuracy.

— Jean Yu, Hotchkiss School

Students love the dialogues and they think the activities in the workbooks are very helpful; they make learning enjoyable. The organization of the lessons and units is very well constructed and the book integrates the four components (reading, writing, speaking  & listening ) together very well for high school students.

— Wen Cheng, Falmouth High School

I really enjoyed the layout, the color photos, the supplementary vocab and cultural info, and the wealth of exercises and activities to use in and out of class.  The internet component is an added bonus!

— Adam Brenner, Friends Select School

I’m impressed with the language taught…The textbook doesn’t give too many new words each lesson, rather integrates the words so that they are used again in different ways.

— Gary Dinkins, Ojai Valley School