furrykef wrote:I already made a post about that earlier in the thread, whose points have still gone largely unaddressed.
Sorry about that. Here's me addressing it.
furrykef wrote:New information is easier to digest when it's in bite-sized chunks. There is research to support this, for example, the research that went into SuperMemo.
Actually I think there are 2 things going on here from a memory standpoint.
On the one hand, you are right - small chunks are easier. For example, it's easier to 1) memorize how to write a kanji given its keyword than it is to 2) memorize how to write a kanji given its keyword or yomi and memorize its readings. I think the only thing supermemo suggested that has relevance to this is keeping questions and answers simple in flashcards (for example, not having flashcards with multiple answers), but please tell me if I'm wrong.
On the other hand, with heisig, the only thing the kanji is linked to is the keyword. It eventually needs to be linked to all its readings, all its meanings, and all compounds made with it. Heisig users have to link things up later, by using essentially the same study methods as non-users. Learning kanji in context creates the links from the beginning.
furrykef wrote:Heisig breaks the kanji down into simple parts and it makes sure to give you the simple parts before constructing monsters like 感 out of them. Learning the kanji from context doesn't facilitate this very well, because very common words will tend to come up before uncommon words with simpler kanji.
You have pointed out one of the major advantages of the heisig method. Non-users will certainly have to do more grunt work with the individual kanji than users. They'll typically have to write characters many times. But it does work, of course.
furrykef wrote:I have trouble memorizing new words. Not how to write them in kanji, which presents relatively few difficulties, just the words. This is despite learning complete sentences -- surely that is "in context" enough -- rather than individual words in isolation. (I've tried individual words in isolation, too. It's just as bad.) I've long held the feeling -- and I may soon act on it -- that if I had a better grasp of the onyomi of kanji, I would at least learn new onyomi words much more easily. It's all about bite-sized chunks.
I'm going to assume you mean something like
Q: Hey, what's the word for death by overwork, which you heard for the first time yesterday?
furrykef: I don't remember.
What are you doing differently now from what you did earlier in your studies? Because you learned lots of new vocabulary early on, right? You didn't know the yomi then, so not knowing them now shouldn't make a difference. My best guess is that you spend too much time on forums. You don't read, speak, write or listen enough. You don't look up many words, and don't put much new words into anki. Oh, and I see you are like me - learning several languages at once. Don't expect huge progress when you do this - I've been studying Japanese for 5 years now, but my progress is frustratingly slow. If it was my only language, it would be a different story. Sorry if I guessed wrong.
furrykef wrote:Moreover, it's not the idea of "learning kanji through context" I disagree with. What I disagree with is learning them solely through context and the idea "studying kanji in isolation in any way is bad"
Got it. Well, all Japanese and Chinese study characters in isolation, as well as in context, so if he truly believes that...