Browse Princeton's Series (by Title) in Princeton Language Program: Modern Chinese

The Princeton Language Program: Modern Chinese is a comprehensive series of Chinese-language textbooks for students of all levels, from novice learners to advanced speakers. The series covers classical Chinese in addition to modern Chinese. Written by members of the Princeton University Department of East Asian Studies, these books have been tested in Princeton classrooms and in the renowned Princeton in Beijing Program. Focusing on contemporary China and geared to the interests of today’s students, the books are designed both to improve language proficiency and enhance students’ understanding of today’s China.


Chinese Primer, the first textbook in the series, is designed for absolute beginners. It consists of three volumes--text, grammar notes, and a character practice workbook--and covers pronunciation and basic grammar structures. Many schools have adopted this textbook over the past twenty-five years. In addition, the elementary textbook First Step focuses on the basics of modern Chinese phonetics and grammatical structure to help students with no previous background in the Chinese language to establish practical daily communication.

Oh! China is specially designed for advanced beginners, also known as heritage learners. Since most heritage learners already have good listening and speaking skills, this textbook, while still beginning with pronunciation, quickly moves to intermediate-level vocabulary and grammar structures. It also introduces issues related to the differences between Chinese and American culture, as well as contemporary Chinese social issues.

The series includes three intermediate-level textbooks: An Intermediate Reader of Modern Chinese, A Trip to China, and A New China. The first, Intermediate Reader, is U.S.-oriented, taking its themes from American college life, while A Trip to China and A New China are China--oriented, covering aspects of life in modern China.

The series has three textbooks at the third-year level: A Kaleidoscope of China, All Things Considered, and Newspaper Readings: The U.S.A. in The People’s Daily. The newest textbook, A Kaleidoscope of China includes articles from popular Chinese newspapers and magazines depicting the latest changes occurring in China. All Things Considered is composed of dialogues and newspaper articles designed to be used in tandem to increase students’ speaking and writing abilities, as well as their knowledge of modern Chinese society. Newspaper Readings presents a series of People’s Daily articles from the 1990s, allowing students to understand how the United States was portrayed in the Chinese media at the time.