I would like to find a sorted list of vocabulary that is studied by native students in primary (elementary) and secondary (middle) school in China, arranged by grade level. Is there any official place to download such a list?

  • +1 This is a great question Jan 3, 2012 at 3:52

2 Answers 2


Primary school students use 2 text books per year. Each book is broken down into individual lessons and there is usually about 4 - 8 characters to be learnt for each lesson. At the back of each book it lists all the characters in order from each lesson which are the required characters to be learnt for that half year.

The set of high school (secondary) books I have are slightly out dated so I don't know if this is still how it is done, but the high school books I have are similar to primary school except the texts go across several pages and I can't remember if they list the characters at the end of the books or if it is just at the end of each lesson.

The primary school set of books provides a vocabulary of about 6k characters.

The high school list is much smaller and covers more obscure words.

As well as these standard books that are used in high school, high school students are expected to learn classical literature and poetry.

I just found this site http://www.sanwen8.com/youshengduwu/kwls/ where someone has typed in all of the lessons from 小学, 初中 and 高中 language books.

Although these do not contain the lists of characters required to be learnt from each lesson, I can confirm that these are the lessons that are being used in Chinese schools by native learners (at the time they were typed in) and is in order of complexity.

Disclaimer: Although the site above was fine at the time I went there. I am not responsible for the above site in any way and any crazy pop-ups that may appear or what it may do to your computer. Go to any external site at your own risk.

  • That is an awesome resource! Thanks so much for sharing :-)
    – Ciaocibai
    Jan 3, 2012 at 22:09

In China, in different areas or different years, they use many different books. But generally, primary school student's words should be very simple or commonly used.

If you Google '小学生字表', you will get many results with the sort of information that you are looking for.

  • If you could provide some of these results, it would be nice. Not all of us can google in Chinese. :P
    – Alenanno
    Dec 28, 2011 at 14:39
  • Sorry, I don't know that. I'm not sure whether you can open contain Chinese word website, so I produced a PDF file of it and upload it onto my website: link
    – laplace
    Dec 28, 2011 at 15:10

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