Type Paper
License CC BY 4.0

Collaborative story-based kanji learning using an augmented tabletop system

Abstract

We present a novel augmented tabletop computer system to support collaborative story-based learning of Japanese kanji characters by non-native students of the Japanese language. Our system is based on interactive use of physical and virtual media using Augmented Reality technologies. To investigate the effectiveness of this approach, we use Heisig’s decomposition of complex kanji into simpler component parts and support constructionist learning by allowing tangible exploration and physical construction – analogous to construction of a jigsaw puzzle – of complex kanji shapes from simpler component shapes which are printed on physical cards. Cards can be associated with video content that is projected onto the card’s location, thereby augmenting the physical kanji component with virtual media. A collaborative pen-based handwriting interface allows students to create mnemonic stories, in the form of pictures or words, to assist in mnemonic memorization of complex kanji as collections of simpler components. Experimental evaluation of the system compared user learning behavior between experimental card-using conditions and a control GUI condition. For card-using conditions, we observed increases in exploratory activity and pointing behavior; for the AR media condition, we observed increased exclamatory clapping. Our system demonstrates that story-based kanji learning – which is typically an individual learning process – can be realized as a collaborative, constructionist, and computer-assisted language learning activity. is points to the possibility of story-based kanji learning technologies being used in future classroom scenarios.

Citation

Lin, N., Kajita, S., & Mase, K. (2009). Collaborative story-based kanji learning using an augmented tabletop system. The JALT CALL Journal, 5(1), 21-44.