When I started studying Chinese more than a year ago my tutor suggested we use the “China Panorama” series of textbooks, even though I had already purchased Integrated Chinese. Now that I have finished book one and am 100 pages into book 2, I can say with full confidence that I really enjoy this textbook series and am glad I opted for it over Integrated Chinese.
I find it a great base for my studies. The pace is not too fast and too slow. It’s not too difficult and not too easy. And the topics/themes covered are reasonably practical. Overall I find it a friendly course. Better still, I’m making good progress with it — it’s the good results that really make me happy.
If you plan on using this book you will need a tutor or teacher to help you work through it, though. I don’t think you can just pick it up and learn much on your own.
There’s a lot more “meat” in book 2 than in book 1 so it’s going to take me a while to finish it. I hope to be done book 2 and on to book 3 by the end of this year.