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New edition of English-language textbooks unveiled

Updated: 2013-05-29 21:25
By Zhao Xinying (

A new edition and a larger-print version of Good English, a famous series of English-language textbooks from the United Kingdom, was unveiled at a news conference in Beijing on May 29.

The books, originally called Oxford Reading Tree and published by Oxford University Press, are English-language teaching materials for native speakers in the United Kingdom, and are used in over 80 percent of primary schools in the UK.

They are also used as English-language textbooks by more than 133 countries around the world, and were welcomed by teachers, parents and children after they were first introduced to and reprinted in China in 2008.

To better meet the needs of young Chinese English-language learners, China Youth Publishing Group, publisher of the books in China, said it decided to release the new edition and the larger-print version on the eve of International Children's Day, which is June 1.

Huo Qingwen, who added the English-Chinese notes for the new edition, said the new edition features 10 levels compared with the nine levels of the previous edition.

The series's levels one to six, which have 309 stories, are for primary school students, while levels seven to 10, which have 64 literary works, are for secondary school students.

Huo, who is also a professor of English, said the books integrate the principles of phonics, story narration, whole-language approach and the heuristic mode of teaching, which will help improve the users' listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities.

The larger-print version, however, is the same with levels one to six in contents, but is printed in larger type and with larger illustrations.

It means that these books are more user-friendly and eye-catching, said Chen Guohua, an expert on foreign-language teaching at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

"It's easier for children to memorize the structure of the words and master the spelling of them," Chen said.

Cui Linlin, whose child has been reading the previous edition, said her daughter likes the books and finds it interesting to learn English with them.

"The interesting stories in the books also enriched my daughter's imagination," said Cui, an English-language teacher at Capital Normal University. “I hope the new edition of the books will be adopted by more schools and families.”

So far, the new edition and larger-print version of Good English can be ordered and purchased only on its own website.

"It's an effective way to prevent the books from being pirated," Huo said.