AJBryant wrote:The thing that amazes me about Heisig that even the people who swear by him (it seems) admit to NOT doing it the way HE instructs you to. Basically, it seems the only way to learn by Heisig is not to follow his instructions.
It's probably not fair (to Heisig, not me) to describe me as someone who swears by him. I think a lot of what Heisig has to say about how to use his method is sort of ridiculous. I don't doubt that you could manage to learn the jouyou kanji in 3-6 months by following him, but I think it would be very odd to prioritize that above every other aspect of Japanese for 3-6 months. In any event it's hard for me to really say too much because I had learned quite a few Chinese characters years before I spoke or read any Japanese beyond "doumo ari gattou Mr Robotto." Beyond that, a lot of what is considered the Heisig method is comprised of stuff that people on the net have attributed to him but that he never actually said (though he might have implied it a little bit
). So I'm not much of a Heisig devotee.
I do agree with the thrust of your post... Heisig has some good ideas, but his method is fatally flawed, IMHO. You could guess that I would think that just from knowing a bit about how I view language acquisition. There's a core of sense at the heart of Heisig, but his method almost seems to have been intentionally designed to keep you from actually using what you've learned as part of an ongoing process that also involves, I dunno, actually _reading_ some Japanese...
But there are people out there who really do swear by him, and I am not an able representative of them, as I think a lot of what they're doing is wrong-headed.