Authentic Materials for Chinese Language

By Ling-Ling Lisa Shih

In this post, you will find a wealth of excellent authentic materials, including on-line Chinese news sources, magazines, radio broadcasting, Chinese TV networks, free Chinese movies, TV dramas,  documentaries, children’s literature, Chinese poetry, Chinese songs, Children’s rhymes and songs, Chinese animation, Chinese sayings, tongue twisters, riddles, spiritual readings in Chinese, etc. 

What Are Authentic Materials?

Authentic materials refer to the materials that are read, heard, viewed, and created by the native speakers and locals. Heitler (2005) states that “authentic materials are any texts written by native English speakers for native English speakers” (p.5) Although they are not originally designed for classroom teaching, authentic materials can provide excellent learning opportunities for language students.

Why Use Authentic Materials?

Authentic materials provide learners real-life examples of how the target language is actually being used by the members of the language and culture group for members of the same language and culture group”  (Galloway, 1998, p. 133). The use of authentic materials, especially audios and videos,  creates opportunities for learners to hear and watch how the target language are used in daily life and in media.   They can provide information about the target culture and its people whose cultural perspective may differ from you. 

How to Use Authentic Materials?

It is important to select authentic materials that are interesting and age appropriate for the learners and suitable for their linguistic level. Some may advocate the use of authentic materials without any modification; however, to facilitate student learning, I sometimes find it necessary to modify the material to make it more suitable to my students’ linguistic level.  Both Chairman‘s Bao and Decipher Chinese – the news app for Chinese learners provide free daily bite-sized Chinese news–articles rated HSK 1 to 5. You can even listen to Chinese news from VOA慢速 (at a slower speed) or VOA常速(at a regular speed) to aid listening comprehension.

Click on the following links to access a wealth of multimedia materials and authentic texts and some lessons created out of these materials–network news, magazine articles, movies and TV dramas, Audios books, Children’s Stories, animations, novels over the radio, exercise videos, songs, poems, tongue twisters, Spiritual texts (with audios), etc. These are all excellent authentic materials you can tap into to make your language learning more interesting and fun while gaining a deeper understanding of the target culture.

Chinese Poems 中国诗词

Read News, Learn Chinese 看新闻学中文

Learn Chinese through Magazine Articles 读杂志学中文

Best Chinese Radio to listen to: Radio Taiwan International 中央广播电台

Watch Chinese TV Drama Series 看中国电视剧

Watch Free Chinese Movies 看中国电影

Watch, Listen, Read, and Learn Chinese–看听读学中文

Authentic Chinese Learning Resources: Learn Chinese Daily

chinese children rhyme.PNG


Learn to Sing Chinese Songs 学唱中文歌

Bilingual Learning Materials 双语材料

Children’s Literature 儿童文学

Learn Chinese through Songs and Children Rhymes 学中文的歌曲和儿童歌谣

Chinese Animation 中文动画卡通片

Chinese Culture中国文化

Chinese Idioms Stories中国成语故事

Chinese Jokes 中国幽默笑话

Daily Bread–灵命日粮(有声读物)

Chinese Riddles 中国谜语

Chinese Sayings 中国谚语

Chinese Tongue Twisters中国绕口令

Watch Looped Videos and Learn Chinese

Do Exercise and Learn Chinese 做运动听中文

Information on Authentic Materials:


Finding a Virtual Language Partner

No learning materials can get more authentic than directly communicating with the native. Here are the places where you can find a virtual language partner for free: Language Exchange: Find a Virtual Language Partner


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