China Beat Archive



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May 5, 2008 in The China Beat


Copyright May 5, 2008. Used by permission.


Two weeks ago, we published a list of websites that provide lesson plans and other resources for teaching on China. This week, we promised an equally solid list of links for Chinese language and literature resources. Chinese language learning has been increasing in the U.S. in recent years and websites that offer resources for Chinese language learning are also increasing, though American interest in Chinese does not yet match Chinese excitement for English-language learning.

1. Few websites have made Chinese-language learning as approachable (and palatable) as Chinesepod. Its “newbie” to “advanced” podcasts are available for free at its website or through iTunes (one must become a monthly subscriber to access transcripts, worksheets, flashcards and other content), and the active user community further enhances the learning experience for dedicated listeners. Chinesepod’s success points to the desire among language learners for up-to-date content that covers current events (though the program steers clear of controversial political topics), pop culture, and slang.

2. For those interested in Chinese literature (in translation) or who want to use bits of primary documents in teaching Chinese history, the Internet East Asian History Sourcebook provides hundreds of links to translations of historical documents from ancient to contemporary China, as well as maps and images. This site could have fit equally well in last week’s list, but because of its emphasis on literature, we decided to include it here.