Studying How to Study Kanji: A Practical Approach


One of the biggest challenges for Japanese language students is to effectively learn kanji (Chinese characters used in modern Japanese writing system). Therefore, teaching kanji becomes also one of the biggest challenges for Japanese teachers/professors. A variety of teaching methods has been developed in order to make this learning effective, i.e., pleasant, long-lasting and accurate. Some of them are the study of kanji’s naritachi (the elements they are composed of, as in Yoshimitsu’s Kanji no Naritachi Jiten – “Dictionary of kanji origins” or “Dictionary of kanji composition” – and James Heisig’s “Remembering the Kanji”), the study of kanji by dividing them in semantic groups or by opposing kanji with same sound but different meaning etc. Recently many computer programs and phone apps have been created not only for studying Japanese language but specifically for learning kanji. From the perspective of a Japanese language class to Brazilian Portuguese native speakers, the purpose of this brief work is to reflect on advantages and disadvantages of some of the most well-known kanji teaching methods and how to take profit of the best they have to improve Japanese language classes.

Author Information
Michele Eduarda Brasil de Sá, University of Brasília, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2015
Stream: Learning Strategies

This paper is part of the ACLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon