Preliminary report on the Kanji and Katakana (K2) gym: Out-of-class character/vocabulary learning activities for Japanese language learners

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Abstract

This paper reports on the informal, out-of-class activities of the K2 (Kanji and Katakana) gym that was conducted twice (once each in 2009 and 2010) over a five-week period in the Department of International Studies, Macquarie University. The primary objectives of this project were (1) to provide Japanese language learners at different levels of proficiency with opportunities to practise character and vocabulary learning skills and (2) to explore the efficiency of informal study on the learning of Kanji/Katakana and vocabulary in Japanese. A total of 17 and 9 students participated in the K2 gym in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In the gym, the participants practised Kanji/Katakana using worksheets, repetition sheets and sample sentence/translation sheets under the supervision of native Japanese-speaking postgraduate students. At the end of the fifth week, both participants and postgraduate student assistants provided feedback on the K2 gym activities. The feedback was predominantly positive. The project was significant not only for the Japanese language students who received individual feedback from native speakers in a non-threatening learning environment but also for the postgraduate assistants who gained experience supervising the gym in their interaction with the participants and made some very practical suggestions. Possibilities for future activities are provided.

LanguageEnglish
Pages69-85
Number of pages17
JournalInnovation in Language Learning and Teaching
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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vocabulary
language
assistant
learning
student
supervision
speaking
learning environment
efficiency
Vocabulary Learning
Kanji
Katakana
Japanese Language
interaction
experience
Interaction
Learning Environment
Native Speaker
Vocabulary
Proficiency

Cite this

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title = "Preliminary report on the Kanji and Katakana (K2) gym: Out-of-class character/vocabulary learning activities for Japanese language learners",
abstract = "This paper reports on the informal, out-of-class activities of the K2 (Kanji and Katakana) gym that was conducted twice (once each in 2009 and 2010) over a five-week period in the Department of International Studies, Macquarie University. The primary objectives of this project were (1) to provide Japanese language learners at different levels of proficiency with opportunities to practise character and vocabulary learning skills and (2) to explore the efficiency of informal study on the learning of Kanji/Katakana and vocabulary in Japanese. A total of 17 and 9 students participated in the K2 gym in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In the gym, the participants practised Kanji/Katakana using worksheets, repetition sheets and sample sentence/translation sheets under the supervision of native Japanese-speaking postgraduate students. At the end of the fifth week, both participants and postgraduate student assistants provided feedback on the K2 gym activities. The feedback was predominantly positive. The project was significant not only for the Japanese language students who received individual feedback from native speakers in a non-threatening learning environment but also for the postgraduate assistants who gained experience supervising the gym in their interaction with the participants and made some very practical suggestions. Possibilities for future activities are provided.",
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