NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1154759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1533-242X
Mnemonic Networks: Multiple Paths to Learning Sino-Japanese Characters
Esposito, John
Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, v17 n2 p96-116 Sep 2017
The primary impediment to literacy in Japanese is kanji proficiency. The ostensible reason kanji present such a formidable challenge, especially for the second language learner, is the combined effect of their quantity and complexity. Research into the cognitive processing of logographic characters, however, indicates that the main obstacle to kanji acquisition is the opaque relation between graphemes and phonemes. A pedagogical focus on establishing links between form and meaning at the expense of pronunciation, therefore, puts the L2 learner at a distinct disadvantage, thereby reinforcing the belief that Japanese is a difficult language to master. What is needed, instead, is an approach that foregrounds grapheme-phoneme correspondences while establishing meaningful links to orthographic representations. Due to their pictographic pedigree, kanji readily lend themselves to the use of mnemonic aids as witnessed by their inclusion in most textbooks and study guides. A review of these learning materials reveals a general misapprehension of such memory-enhancing techniques. In contrast, the method introduced herein is an attempt to bring much-needed clarity to the kanji learning process while abiding by mnemonic principles.
Reading Matrix, Inc. University of South Florida Polytechnic, College of Human and Social Sciences, Division of Education, 3433 Winter Lake Road LMD 8038, Lakeland, FL 33805. Tel: 863-667-7712; Fax: 863-667-7098; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A