Learning strategies employed for learning words written in Kanji Versus Kana
The aims of this paper are: (1) to compare learning strategies employed to memorize the meaning of words written in kanji (logograph) and kana (syllablics); and (2) to identify effective learning strategies to memorize meanings of words in kanji. Eleven native speakers of English enrolled in Japanese at a university participated in this project. Twenty words were selected as the main research instrument. Participants were asked to memorize in 20 minutes the English meanings of the 20 Japanese words written in kanji while saying what they were thinking (a think-aloud protocol). Participants’ behavior was observed, and a test was given after the memorization. About one month later the same procedure was used for words written in kana. A questionnaire was used to find participants’ Japanese learning backgrounds. The findings were: (1) seven out of 11 participants employed different strategies for memorizing the meanings of words written in kanji from words written in kana; and (2) recognition of radicals and analysis of whole words were effective for memorizing the words written in kanji.
Published online: 01 January 2001
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