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While Remembering the Kana is regarded by some as having some flaws (some have criticised how it teaches katakana, and I've noticed a few inconsistencies or errors in the book that a proof-reader could have detected), there are plenty of language learners who have unsuccessfully tried learning kana using other resources, and have attributed their success with learning kana to Remembering the Kana.

The book does a lot of things differently from lots of other kana books. There's no tracing of letters. It uses mental pictures, but no physical pictures. You don't learn the letters in alphabetical order. You don't even go through the book in page order. It tells you how many letters to learn in a single session. The list goes on.

For those who have success with this book, what aspects of the book, or even a placebo effect, make it more effective, and what aspects have no effect or possibly make the book less effective?

Ideally, the answer should be backed up by research and not rely entirely on the author of the book.

  • I edited your question a bit to focus on those who find the book successful, rather than relying on an assumption that it generally is effective. If you don't like the change, you have my blessing to revert. – Flimzy Apr 14 '16 at 13:44
  • You only specifically say what the book doesn't do, not what techniques it actually uses. Why not describe the techniques used in the book? As written, this question will be useless to anyone who doesn't have this book. A discussion of the techniques themselves may be more helpful. – user3169 Apr 14 '16 at 20:56
  • @Flimzy does my description of physical pictures make more sense now? – Andrew Grimm Apr 14 '16 at 22:24
  • @AndrewGrimm: Not really. A "physical picture" still sounds like an oxymoron to me, except perhaps to distinguish between a printed picture and an electronic representation of a picture. Does the book contain illustrations (photographs or drawings)? – Flimzy Apr 15 '16 at 6:30
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    Studies on the effectiveness of Remembering the Kana appear to be a dead end. So you would be interested in more general cognitive principles that could explain why Heisig's method works? – IkWeetHetOokNiet Dec 29 '16 at 23:40

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