The Program

Welcome to Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture! The publication of this book brings a long-held dream to reality: it inaugurates a groundbreaking program and sets a new standard in the field of language instruction.
 
Acutely attentive to the needs of today’s students and teachers, the program encourages learning through approaches that are practical, communicative, culturally rich, and delightfully engaging. Encounters creates an entire learning universe, brimming with an unprecedented array of multimedia materials and activities.
 
Encounters is designed for English-speaking individuals ready to embark on the adventure of learning Mandarin Chinese. Lively and immediate, the program immerses the learner in Chinese culture and language right from the start. Encounters draws on the exciting opportunities that new technologies offer, and it employs a range of techniques to encourage rapid and confident student progress. Those who are learning the Chinese language—as well as their teachers—will find a new level of inspiration at each stage of their Encounters experience.
 
A fully integrated suite of learning materials focuses on communication and authentic language used in real-life contexts. Central among these materials is a twenty-episode video series, filmed entirely on location throughout China, that includes a dramatic story line, authentic model dialogues, and segments devoted to special aspects of Chinese culture and history. The Encounters textbook presents a carefully structured and cumulative approach to learning Mandarin Chinese. Students progress step-by-step from listening and speaking to the more challenging skills of reading and writing Chinese characters. The emphasis is on communicative skills, for the primary goal of the Encounters program is to foster proficiency in everyday Chinese. Abundant exercises and learning activities are linked to the video episodes, while expanded learning opportunities are provided through self-paced interactive Web activities, language games, an online learning community, and much more.
 
Informed by the latest language learning research, enriched by the creativity of a remarkable team of language and media experts who participated in its development, Encounters represents a new generation of language programs. It masterfully guides learners along a well-prepared path toward intercultural communication and understanding, a path that leads also to fuller participation in the modern global community.
 
We wish you well as you encounter the fascinating people and culture of China! And we hope that the Encounters program will assist you on an enjoyable and successful learning journey.
 
Cynthia Ning, University of Hawaii, Manoa
John S. Montanaro, Yale University
 

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Encounters: An Overview

  • Employs a functional, task-based approach
  • Presents authentic language and culture through engaging dramatic, video episodes
  • Provides additional model dialogues focusing on spoken language and communication
  • Links cultural video interviews to language functions
  • Presents clearly focused grammar instruction and practice
  • Adheres to ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
  • Offers an interactive website for guided and independent practice
  • Assists teachers with a fully annotated instructor’s edition, materials to excite the interest of students, and a wide selection of useful tools in various media