Tackling the Kanji hurdle: Investigation of Kanji learning in Non-Kanji background learners

2014 IJRSLL – Volume 3 Issue 3


Paxton, Simon
Macquarie University, Australia (simon.paxton@students.mq.edu.au)

Svetenant, Chavalin*
Macquarie University, Australia (chavalin.svetanant@mq.edu.au)


Although Kanji is widely recognized as the most difficult hurdle to overcome in learning Japanese, little research has been undertaken on the selection and order in which Kanji are taught to Japanese students from non-Kanji backgrounds. In this study, the criteria for different orders of kanji are analyzed in respect with their pedagogical merits in teaching Kanji to students of Japanese from non-Kanji backgrounds. The principal objective of this study is to redress the lack of research in this area and the lack of uniformity in Kanji education. Overall, the orders Kanji are taught seems to be mostly arbitrary and is not considered to be of any great importance in aiding students attain Kanji proficiency. This paper examines the difficulty of Kanji for non-Kanji background learners and finds that Kanji order is indeed a vital consideration in developing more efficient Kanji teaching and learning strategies for students from non-Kanji backgrounds.

Keywords: non-Kanji background learners; Kanji acquisition; second language acquisition; learning strategies; memory strategies


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2013.519

*Corresponding Author