As I mentioned in my post about Kang Xuan’s top945 magazine, Kang Xuan is a publisher of textbooks in Taiwan. It is what students use in the classroom. The other two are 南一 and 翰林.
The self-study books
Over the summer I bought 1st-3rd grade of their Mandarin self-study book on a friend’s recommendation, as well as the 3rd grade Science self-study book. In Taiwan science starts in 3rd grade. In 1st and 2nd, students use a Daily Living textbook instead.
My plan is to somehow use these to study after Sagebooks. We’re not doing Greenfield for Thumper because those books are too short. Those Greenfield books are meant for preschoolers who are learning massive number of characters. If I don’t end up using them, at least they’re reference material for grammar.
I bought the Science self-study book primarily to help me with nomenclature I need in the classroom. Otherwise I tend to spend hours researching on the Internet for the correct Chinese nomenclature with the problem that there are often 1) different ways to say the same thing when you translate from English, and 2) different levels of vocabulary taught due to a child’s grade level. By this I mean, maybe in elementary they only teach you 5 vocabulary for parts of the plant, and then in high school it’s 10. But I would have no way of knowing which ones are taught in elementary without a textbook. When I was doing research on my moon unit, I found that some schools do not like the Kang Xuan science textbooks due to nomenclature and how things are taught.
I only took pictures of the Fall semester since the format for each school year is about the same. They all come with a CD. Since these are self-study books, there are also answers at the back of the book. These pics are textbooks for the 2014-2015 school year.
In Taiwan, the Educational Ministry sets characters learned at 300 per grade for writing and 400 for reading. So each textbook will cover about that much. There is no set order of character introduction so you may see
Where to buy them
The Self-Study books are divided into two books. One for each semester. Kang Xuan publishes a new one every semester. I’ve been told by the US distributor that books usually become unavailable by the end of the 2nd month of the semester in the local bookstores. They only print so many. So if you want to find them you just call around. So basically, if you want to buy one full school year’s worth, you need to buy early enough each semester from Taiwan.
If you go to Taiwan, I believe you would find them in textbook stores like 三民 (San Min). They have two physical stores in Taipei. And here’s a list of where all the textbooks are sold in Taiwan! You can see a lot of them are on 重慶南路.
There are free electronic versions you can use if you can navigate in Chinese. But they don’t look the same as the print version.
You can also buy Kang Xuan books online through their online website. They will ship to the US by air. I’ve also been told that they don’t list real time inventory on this website. (Don’t quote me on it) But I had more luck finding books on their online website when the bookstores were out.
Lastly, you can go through their US distributor. However, as of now, the distributor is only willing to buy if you group order. He does not want to hold inventory since these books have a very short shelf life of ONE semester! That’s what I’m trying to do, organizing group orders.
Apparently you can also buy assessment test books. There are two kinds, 學習評量 and 測驗卷. The way it was explained to me by the distributor was that one is like a end of chapter assessment and the other is almost like the monthly tests 月考 students get. Other blogs I’ve seen kind of says they’re basically the same thing, just ways you can assess what you learned in each chapter.
First Grade Mandarin Self-Study
First grade starts with 10 chapters of zhuyin before zipping right along to 8 chapters of learning characters. Each chapter has the main text, a summary of text, comprehension questions, character study, word study, grammar, reading comprehension, chapter assessment.
Second Grade Mandarin Self-Study
Second grade textbook formats are very similar to first grade.
Third Grade Mandarin Self-Study
The format for 3rd grade changes a bit. You can see it gets a little more dense. You have text, summary, comprehension questions, character study, word study, grammar, longer reading comprehension, writing (new) and chapter assessment.
Third Grade Science Textbook
The textbook for science is very minimal on topic but heavy on content. For example, for fall semester, you only have 4 chapters: Parts of Plants, magnets, air, and science in the kitchen.