WANG John C. Y., WU Sue-mei, JIANG Shaoyu & HSUEH Frank F. S.
While the teaching of Modern Chinese as a foreign language has made progress by leaps and bounds, the same cannot be said about the teaching of Classical Chinese. This is regrettable as the influence of the latter on the former in terms of both vocabulary and syntax is pervasive and profound, so much so that many of the subtler points and fine nuances in Modern Chinese will be missed unless one also has acquired at least a rudimentary knowledge of Classical Chinese. At the same time, a good and solid foundation in Classical Chinese is a must if one would pursue reading any text written before the 20th century. Moreover, precisely because Classical Chinese has ceased to be used as the official medium of written expression and a true proficiency in it can only be acquired through extensive reading of classical texts from China's long past, there is a real need for more fully annotated and clearly analyzed readers and other teaching aids designed especially for the beginning students. Classical Chinese Primer is thus meant to be an attempt to address this urgent need in the teaching of Classical Chinese. Designed for those who have studied Modern Chinese for one or two years, but who have had no exposure to Classical Chinese before, Classical Chinese Primer is in a set of two volumes: the reader itself and a workbook. This reader includes forty lessons in total, covering selected readings from ancient fables, philosophical texts, as well as historical and literary writings. Each selection is accompanied by annotations and clear and jargon-free grammar notes. Beginners of Classical Chinese will find this reader useful in building up their basic grammatical knowledge of the language. About the Author John C. Y. Wang is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies in the Department of Asian Languages at Stanford University and Director of the Center for Chinese Language and Cultural Studies, who has a special interest in the teaching of Classical Chinese. He also served as Chair of the Department of Asian Languages for many years. Sue-mei Wu, who received her Ph.D. in Chinese Linguistics from Ohio State University, is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the lead author of the Chinese Link: Zhongwen Tiandi textbook series. Recipient of several awards to develop online language and culture modules, she is currently serving as coordinator of the Chinese Online Project funded by the National Science Foundation through the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center. Shaoyu Jiang is Professor in the Department of Chinese Language and Literature and former Director of the Center for Chinese Linguistics at Peking University. Designated a state expert with outstanding contributions, he is served for many years on the Guidance Committee for the Teaching of Chinese under China's Ministry of Education and was a member of the Executive Committee of International Association for Chinese Linguistics. Frank F. S. Hsueh is Professor Emeritus of Chinese Linguistics and Classical Chinese at The Ohio State University, where he served for many years as Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. For many years he also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association and initiated a monograph series under the auspices of the association.