[quote=“danplusdan”]A lot of people seemed turned off from the practical audio-visual vol. 3. It has a lot of vocabulary that just isn’t interesting to a lot of students and for many doesn’t seem to be practical. I think I probably liked it more than my classmates, but the fourth volume generally has more useful vocabulary for.
What to use really depends on the way you learn, what you want to improve (more conversation? do you want to learn about how to write a good article?) and what your interests are. As someone suggested already finding easy books on topics that interest you or comics are good, but I find that sort of thing better for additional study, rather than for classes.
If you are interested in different text books there are some from Cheng and Tsui that are supposed to be for supplementary reading. Despite claiming to be high-intermediate/low advanced, they are not very difficult, so maybe if you are at a higher level these are not for you. They just give a short essay, vocabulary, and a few questions. It does not go over sentence patterns or that sort of thing. They use both simplified and traditional characters, so I used it to begin learning simplified in a way that did not require me to tediously look up characters to see the traditional form.
Tales and Traditions vol. 3: Readings in Chinese Literature Series cheng-tsui.com/store/product … s_volume_3
The Moon Is Always Beautiful and Other Essays: Readings in Chinese Culture Series, vol. 3 cheng-tsui.com/store/product … her_essays
There are also some done by Crane Publishing that are more like supplementary readers. The one I had was called “Biography of China’s Master of Water-ink Painting: Qi Baishi,” but it certainly isn’t for everyone.
You could always try discussing dialogues from websites like Chinesepod, that way you could select topics with vocabulary that interests you.[/quote]