January 29, 2017, Palo Alto, CA: The non-profit organization, Great Chinese Reads, together with the language learning company, PandaTree, announce the launch of an expert-selected Recommended Chinese Reading List for students in kindergarten through sixth grade who are learning Mandarin Chinese. The list of 50 recommended picture books is now available for free to parents and educators in a searchable database at PandaTree.com.
With the help of scholars from Stanford University, Beijing Normal University and Chinese teachers at over 20 public and independent schools across the U.S., the team from Great Chinese Reads evaluated more than 2,000 titles to make the book selections. To make it easy for parents and teachers to find appropriate books for their students, each book on the list is leveled according to grade and ACTFL standards and tagged by topic keywords.
“For parents of children learning Mandarin Chinese, it can be hard to find good books at the right level for their child,” said Kristina Klausen, founder and CEO of PandaTree.com, a website offering foreign language tutoring. “Great Chinese Reads’ expertly chosen list makes it easy for parents and teachers, and we are delighted to help bring it to life in an online database.”
“Our list includes books from Asia as well as American stories that have been translated,” said Stella Su, founder of Great Chinese Reads. “Reading in a foreign language is an excellent way to accelerate learning. Our aim is to help children develop bilingual literacy through books they love.”
“Great Chinese Reads’ rigorous review of books included an evaluation of the writing quality, thematic and content appropriateness, and the level of engagement to the target audience,” said Dr. Xiaoqiu Xu, a former Instructor at Stanford University who helped design Great Chinese Reads’ approach.
“Interest in Chinese language education and Chinese children’s books has been growing rapidly in the US,” said Ms. Danqing Liu, Nomination Committee Chair of Astrid Lidgren Memorial Book Award (USBBY) and a Great Chinese Reads advisor, “but there is a lag in high quality materials appropriate for American children. The Great Chinese Reads’ Recommended Chinese Reading List will be a valuable resource for parents, teachers and students.”
PandaTree.com offers online foreign language tutoring for kids ages 5-15. PandaTree’s dynamic, carefully hired tutors make learning fun. Every live, one-on-one online session is tailored to the student’s level and interest. Sessions are recorded and after each session parents receive email updates. Educational videos, stories and word games are also available at PandaTree.com. PandaTree currently offers Mandarin and Spanish. Learn more at PandaTree.com.
About Great Chinese Reads:
Great Chinese Reads is an independent non-profit research organization. It is part of Eirya Foundation, a 501(c)(3), dedicated to enriching children’s Chinese reading and nurturing lifelong readers with bilingual literacy. Its team of researchers, language teachers, librarians and volunteer parents have built the Great Chinese Reads Recommended Chinese Reading List that is leveled and searchable. In addition, Eirya Foundation supports schools, libraries and community programs with mini grants, story-time activities and book fairs. Learn more at GreatChineseReads.org.