Teaching Japanese Across Borders: An Original Intercultural Approach


The goal of this paper is to present to the international academic public a unique and original book for teaching Japanese, the first of its kind in Serbia. However, its significance is not limited only to the students of Japanese in Serbia, because this manual can be the source of ideas for teachers of Japanese in any other culture, as well. The main feature that makes it so outstanding is the use of mnemonic methods for learning how to read and write Japanese characters kanji, which has been done before in some Western countries, but in a different way. Namely, though the possibility of using mnemonic devices for memorising kanji by connecting them with information that can be remembered more easily has already been recognized, the Serbain authors applied extremely inventive and creative forms in order to connect the Japanese and Serbian cultures, thus rendering the process of learning more entertaining and interesting, and making it much easier for the student. Not only did authors include some kanji that are not usually explained with mnemonics, but they also found explanations which are not typical for the common ones, such as comparing number nine (九) with a cat which has nine lives, or number four (四) with two lips plus two rows of teeth. The most original mnemonic is certainly the adjective small (小) which, according to them, represents a young bird hatching from an egg.

Author Information
Ljiljana Markovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Biljana Djoric Francuski, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Paper Information
Conference: IICLLHawaii2017
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the IICLLHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon