This thesis focuses on the study of vocabulary instruction in Chinese. Due to the fact that Chinese is not a cognate language of Indo-European languages, word formation becomes one of the most challenging factors when learning Chinese vocabulary. The other cause that makes the Chinese vocabulary so difficult to acquire is the lack of assistance from the textbooks. This study points out the deficiencies of the vocabulary selection in three widely used series of textbooks at elementary and intermediate level, as well as the non-systematic vocabulary instruction methods found within the textbooks. One finding of this study is an unexpectedly low coverage of the most frequently used words as classified by the HSK (a national Chinese language proficiency test) in the textbooks at elementary and intermediate level. Meanwhile, the vocabulary selections in the textbooks also do not reflect the word distribution of natural Chinese language. Besides the quantitative analysis focusing on the vocabulary selections in each of the textbook series, the thesis also sheds light on the lack of connections among vocabulary items. These lack of connections include (1) low word and morpheme recycling among the vocabulary items as well as a lack of repetition of words and morphemes throughout the textbooks; and (2) the selected new words do not manage to complete semantic networks. Therefore, the vocabulary instruction methods of the textbooks are not satisfactory when it comes to teaching vocabulary in Chinese as a foreign language. In order to improve CFL vocabulary instruction, two teaching techniques are advocated by this thesis, including the increasing of vocabulary recycling and improving the connections among new vocabulary items by making use of shared morphemes and integrated semantic networks. When it comes to vocabulary selections, a well-organized vocabulary list should be adapted throughout each textbook series. Meanwhile, the high-frequency words found in the HSK vocabulary list should be included more, especially at the elementary and intermediate level.