Chinese Resources

Monday, March 12, 2012

Putting it all in one place: Integrated Chinese comes to the iPad

Today I got an email from Cheng & Tsui, one of the largest Chinese textbook producers in the US. They are announcing that their Integrated Chinese book series will be available on the iPad with its very own iBook edition. According to the email:

"The digital version will "take advantage of the iBook's capabilities. Students experience text, language notes, glossary, and audio in an exciting interactive environment. Plus you can customize flashcards, grammar indexes, and more on your iPad."
The app, or the book rather, will be available May 2012. Those viewing this on an iPad can download a sample here.

While this is certainly good news for the tech generation, it also makes me wonder what these iPad wielding language students will be missing. In the hay-day of my Chinese language study I would cover my textbooks in notes; highlighting key phrases, underlining grammar patterns and pouring over the little details.

When I didn't understand a word or a grammatical phrase, I would have to go through the process of looking it up in my dictionary or in a previous textbook. As annoying as it would be at times, there was something to be gained through re-retrieving information. A quick glance at old vocab would show a sample sentence that my teacher had given, or a radical/ character component breakdown I did during the wee hours of the night.

No matter how many times I open those books, or how long I sit on my bookshelf, those notes will always be there waiting patiently for my gazing eyes. Can the same be said about an iPad textbook? How many updates, software hardware or otherwise, before the digital footprint of what you have studied is erased?

1 comment:

  1. No customized flashcards or grammar exercises I'm afraid. Just enhanced to link the original audio from the DVDs to the text. No customization for studying at all. That I can tell.


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