A model-based online framework for Kanji learning
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This article presents a conceptual CALL model of kanji learning set within a framework of outcome-specific learning tools and cognitive support structure. The kanji learning ‘package’ will enable learners to manage the affective and motivational issues, issues of methodology, and problems caused by lack of familiarity with orthographic scripts, that they will inevitably encounter in their study of the challenging Japanese orthography. The article draws together literature on kanji learning and normalisation of technology to ground the framework in sound neo-Vygotskian principles of co-operative learning and early scaffolding, taking advantage of the unlimited learning opportunities provided by a CALL medium. The main aims of the kanji learning package are learner understanding of the processes that lead to kanji mastery, and awareness of the full range of learning tools and support available. Learners, for example, who have been reliant on repeated writing practices alone, will gain a clearer understanding of the role repeated writing plays in the full learning process and will have access to a wider range of learning opportunities such as motivational games, co-operative learning tasks, and learning stratagems from peers, alongside guidance in developing an effective learning plan. Framework based CALL packages have the potential to bring about a significant shift in learning methodology. Learners will have greater understanding of the learning process and will have the opportunity to choose and experience a range of learning tools for development of automatisation of kanji, which far surpass what a single textbook can offer.