Publication Details

Haththotuwa-Gamage, G, Perceptions of kanji learning by non-native learners of Japanese as a foreign language: Data from Sri Lankan learners, Japanese Linguistics, 20, September 2006, 67-78.


The present study examines the attitudes of learning kanji outside Japan based on the data from Sri Lankan learners of Japanese. This study also provides empirical evidence concerning perceived difficulties of reading and writing kanji by these learners. This was examined by a questionnaire, which was analyzed in terms of learners and Institution. The questionnaire revealed that the majority of learners had positive attitudes for learning kanji. However, they lacked the motivation for independent, self-directed learning. Learners in private institutions were significantly more enthusiastic in learning kanji than learners of secondary or tertiary institutions. The results also revealed that positive attitudes towards kanji gradually reduced with the increase in number of kanji being learnt. Differences in attitudes towards learning kanji outside Japan were identified suggesting that there are important cognitive aspects to learning kanji among non-native learners of Japanese.