Publishing FAQs: Book Covers

12 July 2017

The cover design for a new book is something I really enjoy working on, and it’s often one of the author’s favourite parts of the production process too. However, it’s not without its challenges, such as choosing a good image (particularly as a lot of the subjects of our books are quite abstract), and the cover design process can be an unfamiliar and daunting prospect for some of our authors. In this post, I answer some frequently asked questions about the book cover design process.

The series design for SLA is possible with or without an image

Will I be able to choose my own cover design?

We have standard designs for all our series, so the design itself will be predetermined, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be involved in the rest of the process! There’s usually flexibility regarding colour and image, and even more scope for creativity if your work is out of series.

Do I have to have an image?

Not necessarily. Some of our series designs are possible both with and without an image, so you may be able to choose, depending on which series your book is in. If you opt for a cover without an image, you can still get involved in the design process by letting us know your preferred colour scheme. And if the series requires an image, we’re always happy to help you choose and source it.

The cover art for Wei Ye’s book was created specially by an artist she knows, Mu Zi

Will I be able to choose the cover image?

Yes! We like authors to have plenty of input when it comes to deciding on the image for the cover, as ultimately we want them to have something they’re happy with and can be proud of. We receive all sorts of different images, including photographs taken by the authors themselves, artwork commissioned specially for the cover, “word clouds” and more! We will do our best to accommodate your choice, although there are a few criteria it will need to meet…

Can I use this photo of people on a beach I took on holiday?

That depends – do you have permission from the people in the photo to use it for this purpose? If not, I’m afraid we won’t be able to put it on the cover. Furthermore, when submitting a photo as a cover image, you need to be careful not only of the people visible in the photo but also any logos or branding that are central to the image.

What about this drawing my child did?

Absolutely, providing it will work for the cover of an academic book and the image is of a high enough quality. Our designers need the image resolution to be at least 300 dpi for it to be usable, as lower resolution images will quickly become fuzzy once they’ve been enlarged to fit the cover. What looks good on screen may not come out as well when printed by a high-quality printer, so we have to check that the quality is sufficient.

A cover that uses a stock image

What if I don’t have an image of my own?

Not to worry – we regularly use stock image libraries like iStockphoto and Shutterstock to source images for our books, so we always encourage our authors to have a look through them when they have an idea in mind but no image of their own. The sheer amount of choice the image libraries offer can be quite overwhelming, and it can be a bit of a treasure hunt sifting through all the generic or staged images to find what you have in mind. However, they have an incredibly wide range of images available, and we’re sure to find the right one with enough digging!

An informal photo-shoot arranged by the editors

None of the stock images of children look natural, what can I do? 

You might be able to set up an informal photo shoot – perhaps you have young family members, friends or neighbours who’d love to feature on the cover of a book! We can provide a template letter of permission for you to give to parents or guardians to sign and are always happy to give the models a copy of the printed book in thanks.

 

Flo


How do we use social media to market our books?

6 July 2017

We at Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications are very active on social media and have built up substantial communities across all our accounts. We enjoy interacting with our authors, publishing contacts, readers and people with a broader interest in the topics on which we publish, and have strong followings on both Facebook and Twitter, with nearly 2,000 contacts across our Facebook pages and over 15,000 on our two Twitter accounts.

Social media has also become an integral part of our marketing campaign for each book that we publish. In the weeks and months leading up to and following a book’s publication, we in the marketing department use our various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, this blog and YouTube) to announce its publication and publicise it as much as possible. It’s the easiest and most effective way of getting news to lots of people at once and on top of that, it allows people to engage with and discuss our publications, both with us and amongst each other. Of course, social media doesn’t come at the expense of our traditional marketing strategies and we still follow usual marketing techniques such as catalogue mailings, email newsletters, sending information to the book trade, attending conferences and book fairs and so on, but it does offer something new and different to our marketing repertoire.

Commissioning editors with books published in January

When using social media to market a book, it’s a real advantage if we have an author who is active themselves on social media and can help us to spread the word. Authors are best placed to reach their book’s key audience as their own colleagues and peers are likely to be those interested in the research. We often find that some of our bestselling books are ones where the author hasn’t been afraid of get stuck in! For example, you could create a Facebook page for your book like our authors Christian W. Chun and Leanne White did, where you can keep people up to date with the book’s progress and share useful information and news, including the 50% preorder discount flyer we create for all our books. In addition, if there are any relevant events that tie in with your book’s publication, do let us know! For example, we’ve previously promoted Hongliang Yan’s book, Heritage Tourism in China, in conjunction with World Heritage Day. Facebook is also the main place where we post photos of office goings on, so your book may well end up in a photo like the one above of our commissioning editors with their books published in January. If you have any ideas for a relevant photo opportunity for your book, just let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

Twitter is a great place to get book news out to the right people, and we do try to “mention” relevant accounts with publication news where we can. If you have any ideas about popular hashtags used by the community you’re trying to reach or users who would be especially interested in your work, let us know on your AQ and we’ll include them in our marketing plans. Each of our books are assigned three or four tweets during the month following its publication giving a taster of what to expect from the book, and we also announce it on both Twitter and Facebook on publication day. By using relevant hashtags, the word about a new book gets out to people who might not have heard about it otherwise, and we often see people mentioning friends or colleagues with recommendations of our books.

We ask all our authors to write a piece about their book for our blog, which we schedule to coincide with its publication. This is a really good way to publicise the book and provide interested readers with a “behind the scenes” insight into how the book came about, giving authors a chance to sell their book beyond the blurb on our website. If you can send us photos or even videos to include in the post to grab readers’ attention, even better! We always announce new blog posts on Facebook and Twitter ourselves, but again, the braver authors are about sharing their post and telling the world about their work, the greater the number of views and the more engagement we see.

One of the videos to accompany Optimizing Language Learners’ Nonverbal Behavior

For those authors that are feeling especially creative, we also have a YouTube channel where we post videos authors have produced to accompany their book. For example, we recently posted a video by Wayne E. Wright and Colin Baker where they spoke about the latest edition of Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism and one by Janet Enever and Eva Lindgren introducing their new book Early Language Learning. For their book, Optimizing Language Learners’ Nonverbal Behavior Tammy Gregersen and Peter MacIntyre produced a series of accompanying videos, such as “Say it with your Hands!”, all of which can be accessed on our YouTube channel. If you’d like to do something similar for the publication of your own book, just get in touch with us to discuss your ideas.

Nowadays social media is an invaluable tool for getting publication news out there, and we do our best to publicise your book as much as possible, but there’s no doubt that the more active the author is in promoting their book through their own channels, the better. So get Facebooking/Tweeting/Blogging/YouTubing!

Follow us on Twitter: @Multi_Ling_Mat / @Channel_View

Like our Facebook page: Multilingual Matters / Channel View Publications

Check out our YouTube channel


An Interview with Rodolfo Baggio, Co-author of “Quantitative Methods in Tourism: 2nd edition”

4 July 2017

This month we are publishing the second edition of Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas. In this post Rodolfo answers a few questions about the book and the work of a tourism academic.

It’s been six years since we published the first edition of Quantitative Methods in Tourism. What can we expect from the second edition?

First of all let me say that I’ve been quite surprised and amazed to see that our little work received so much attention as to deserve a second edition. We (my coauthors and I) are very grateful to the readers and to find out that our idea of providing a “practical” handbook has worked well. In this edition we have essentially done two things. One has been (rather obviously) to amend the little inaccuracies or errors that inevitably escape in a work like this one, even after a good number of checks. Then we have improved and updated examples and references and added some new materials on data screening and cleaning, the use of similarity and diversity indexes, path modelling and partial least squares, multi-group structural equation modelling, common method variance, and Big Data.

What is the collaborative process like between you both?

For this book (as for the previous edition), after having agreed on the topics to include, we split them based on our expertise and interests so that each one of us wrote the different pieces, then we swapped the chapters and cross checked all the materials.

What is the most rewarding and most difficult thing about writing a book?

The most rewarding thing is for sure the moment in which you get the book in your hands. The most difficult (probably better to say tedious, tiring or grim) comes when you have finished writing and you have to start checking, refining, correcting, reworking, etc.

As a tourism academic, what’s the favourite place that you’ve travelled to in the course of your research?

Contrary to what many might think, working in tourism, whether as an academic or industry practitioner, does not necessarily mean travelling. There are hotel employees that have never seen places different from their hotel or teachers that have never been in a city different from the one in which they give classes. I have been privileged and, due to personal attitude and life chances, have so far had an incredible number of possibilities to travel to many parts of this planet. I do not have a favourite place. All are interesting and exciting in one way or another. Probably my truly favourite place is one (and there are many) in which I have not yet been.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing books?

Well, not being a writer most of my life is spent NOT writing books, so I do what anyone else does. Personally I enjoy reading, walking around, listening to good music, travelling and so on. But I also very much enjoy studying and researching new avenues for the difficult work of understanding a complex and complicated domain such as the tourism one.

For more information about this book, please see our website.

 


Multilingual Matters at the International Symposium on Bilingualism 2017

30 June 2017

Earlier this month, Anna and Laura left Bristol in the midst of a heatwave for rainy Ireland and the biennial International Symposium on Bilingualism, which was hosted this year by the University of Limerick. In this post Laura tells us what they got up to.

A very busy coffee break

The theme of the International Symposium on Bilingualism conference this year was ‘Bilingualism, Multilingualism and the New Speaker’ and delegates enjoyed a packed schedule of presentations, either linked directly to the theme or to any other aspect of bilingualism and multilingualism research. Clearly the topic of the conference lies right at the heart of Multilingual Matters and we were pleased that there was plenty of interest in our books. So much so that we often had a queue of keen customers at the stand during the breaks and were very glad to have each other to share the workload.

Naturally, the 6th edition of our bestselling textbook, Foundations of Bilingualism and Bilingualism by Colin Baker and Wayne E. Wright, was a popular choice but it was matched in popularity by New Perspectives on Translanguaging and Education, edited by BethAnne Paulsrud, Jenny Rosén, Boglárka Straszer and Åsa Wedin. All the authors of other bestsellers, Raising Multilingual Children, by Julia Festman, Gregory J. Poarch and Jean-Marc Dewaele and Beyond Age Effects in Instructional L2 Learning by Simone E. Pfenninger and David Singleton, were present to talk to readers about their work. Another hot title was New Insights into Language Anxiety edited by Christina Gkonou, Mark Daubney and Jean-Marc Dewaele, who was one of the keynote speakers.

Accompanying Jean-Marc Dewaele as other plenary speakers were Ana Deumert, Alexandre Duchêne, Elizabeth Lanza, Tina Hickey and Lisa Lim. The keynotes were all very well-attended and we were glad to be able to slip away from a quiet stand in order to hear them.

Laura and Anna putting their free conference umbrellas to good use

Aside from the packed academic schedule, delegates were treated to a drinks reception, Irish BBQ with traditional Irish music and dancing and a Gala Dinner, featuring a live band and welcoming dance floor. Needless to say, we returned home utterly exhausted from an excellent and enjoyable conference and already looking forward to the next one in Canada in 2019!


A visit to one of our printers, CPI

27 June 2017

This post was written by our intern, Alice, who recently joined Sarah and Flo on a trip to one of our printers, CPI, to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole.

Last week Sarah, Flo and I met at the train station, ready for a day trip to one of our printers, CPI. We got the train to Chippenham, so the journey wasn’t too long, and were kindly collected from the station by James, who Channel View has been working with for about 10 years. James drove us over to CPI’s Melksham factory, which is one of 17 factories spread over 7 different countries.

Sarah, Flo, Alice and James with the inkjet printer

Firstly, we sat down for a brief overview of the printing process and how their printers work. It was great to get a detailed description of the difference between printers and James showed us examples of what they can do, as well as giving us a mini presentation. After tea and a chat, we left the office to see first-hand what goes on in the factory. We began our tour with the plain paper rolls, ready to go – these are huge and fill a large portion of the first factory room, so we were very surprised when James told us how quickly they get through them! The rolls are then set up on the printer, which they go through at an overwhelming speed. The inkjet machine prints an entire book at a time, one after the other, on the roll. Once the paper has the text printed on it, it is then folded into its book form. It was amazing seeing how precise and fast the machines were – little need for human hands! The books are then glued and bound, before being trimmed to size. If it is a hardback book, it then carries on to a final stage where the cover is added and, if necessary, a jacket is added as well. It was all very exciting – thanks to everyone in the factory for letting us be nosy!

After the grand tour, we collected our account manager, Katie, from the office. We then all drove to Lacock, an amazing village owned by the National Trust, where we had a wonderful lunch and more of a catch up. There was just time for an ice cream (it was a very hot day!) before heading back to Bristol. It was overall a great trip and so interesting to get an insight into the journey our books go on before they arrive at the office.

Alice


The Great Potential of Arab Tourism Destinations

23 June 2017

This month we published Tourism in the Arab World edited by Hamed Almuhrzi, Hafidh Alriyami and Noel Scott. In this post Hamed explains the inspiration behind the book and outlines its main themes.

The socioeconomic changes in a number of emerging economies, including Arab countries, have enabled many people from these countries to travel. In 2015, The United Nations World Tourism Organization reported that in 2014 this region was among the fastest growing regions in terms of travel total contribution to GDP (gross domestic product). Arab tourism destinations and markets hold great potential for the tourism business; however, it appears that we know little about them.

When I started my PhD study, one of the difficulties I faced was finding literature that discussed aspects of the tourism industry within Arab countries. There was a clear scarcity in research on planning, management and marketing of Arab destinations, or on understanding Arab tourists’ behaviours and dispositions. Through conversations with colleagues, it became clear that there is a need to establish and promote a dialogue on issues that concern the Arab tourism industry and bring tourism-related discussion to the attention of international tourism literature.

The existing tourism literature seems to be confused on many issues when it comes to discussing Arab tourism phenomena. Tourism in the Arab World introduces tourism researchers to such issues. Questions such as ‘What is the Arab World?’, or ‘Who is an Arab?’ are discussed and we address how this has further implications for tourism studies. In addition, the image of Arab destinations has been associated with various risk perceptions within international tourism literature – mainly the political crisis that many Arab destinations have been witnessing and the way they have been portrayed through the international media. This volume highlights this issue and provides recommendations for dealing with it for tourism marketing organisations and tourism researchers/practitioners. It also discusses whether the generalisation of risk perceptions is justified.

From an outsider’s perspective, Arab countries seem to be perceived similarly. However, various chapters within this volume emphasise that it is important to be careful of putting all Arab destinations in the same basket when it comes to issues such as tourism development, planning or structure of the industry. It was apparent throughout the discussion that Arab tourism destinations vary in their approaches. The discussion has pinpointed several concerns that tourism researchers and practitioners need to be aware of, such as the impact of Islam, culture and the political structure of each destination, and how these factors contribute to the development of tourism in each country.

While the book tries to stimulate discussion on various tourism issues that concern Arab destinations and market, it focuses more on business aspects of the tourism industry. Hence, there are four overall themes covered in this volume:

  • Tourism policy, organisation and planning
  • Tourism product development
  • Destination marketing
  • Arab consumer behaviour

Throughout these themes, tourism researchers and practitioners can appreciate differences and complications when it comes to dealing with emerging Arab tourism destinations, which in return provide more thoughts for discussion.

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism in the Middle East edited by Rami Farouk Daher.


The Three As: Defining Engagement in Higher Education

21 June 2017

This month we published International Student Engagement in Higher Education by Margaret Kettle. In this post, the author introduces her “three As” model for defining the concept of engagement and explains what inspired her to write the book.

Engagement is everywhere. When I go to meetings and presentations, and read policy documents, the word is pervasive. We have student engagement, community engagement, the importance of engaging with industry partners, and so on.  It is clear to me that the word has become a catch-all and that the concept is in danger of being washed out, and then possibly thrown out. My book International Student Engagement in Higher Education is an attempt to identify the components of what is a complex and elusive concept. To this end, I foreground international students’ experiences and utilise social practice to explain the multiple, interrelated dimensions of engagement. My model comprises three ‘A’s: antecedents to engagement, actions of engaging, and achievements and accomplishments flowing from engagement.

Antecedents to engagement include dominant forms of academic English as well as facilitative teaching and assessment practices. Actions refer to students’ strategic acts in the moment of engaging. Finally, accomplishments draw attention to the benefits students derive from engagement such as academic achievement and personal change. The power of my model is that it disentangles the various dimensions of engagement while retaining their interrelationship.

By understanding the complexity of engagement, I believe that university leaders, managers and academics are better equipped to make decisions about policy and teaching approaches as well as academic support. Clearer conceptualisation of engagement will benefit international students and domestic/home students. Indeed, the model could also be used in other educational settings such as schools.

My interest in international student engagement began with my own experiences as an international student in Germany. It continued with work at an Australian university and being privy to international students’ strategic campaigns to assert themselves in their postgraduate courses. The opportunity to research engagement arose through my study with a university academic who had a reputation among colleagues and students for being an excellent teacher. The research involved a case study of the academic’s course over a semester – a rich and transformative experience for all, including myself as researcher.

At a time when the focus on engagement is increasing, the best way for institutions to learn about international student engagement is by listening to the students themselves. Teachers are integral to the student experience and have a vital role to play in providing the conditions for engagement. This book explicates these relationships and will hopefully be of benefit to people interested in promoting engagement for all students undertaking higher education.

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Desiring TESOL and International Education by Raqib Chowdhury and Phan Le Ha.


Public Policy Development in Translation and Interpreting Studies

16 June 2017

We recently published the first book in our new series Translation, Interpreting and Social Justice in a Globalised World, entitled Ideology, Ethics and Policy Development in Public Service Interpreting and Translation edited by Carmen Valero-Garcés and Rebecca Tipton. In this post the editors introduce us to the main themes of the book.

As the 21st century advances, Public Service Interpreting and Translation (PSIT) services are increasingly positioned at the service of conflict resolution in different contexts, while at the same time being locked in their own struggle for professional recognition. This edited volume builds on our experiences as educators, researchers and practitioners as well as on the FITISPos Conference series in Public Service Interpreting and Translation held at the University of Alcalá, Madrid, and in particular the 2014 Conference which revisited topics related to ethics and ideology in situations of conflict.

The collection illuminates emerging challenges for PSIT in statutory and non-statutory services generated by violent conflict, population displacement and migration, inter alia, gender-based violence, human rights violations and mental health trauma. These challenges raise questions as to the nature of the ethical and ideological frameworks within which interpreters and translators operate, the extent to which they shape such frameworks, and the role of states and institutions in acknowledging and responding to human need and human rights, against a backdrop of shifting political, social and legal landscapes.

The chapters explore the evolving nature of ethics and ideology in a range of settings, and their implications for PSIT service organization, perception and delivery. They make a timely contribution to discussions on public policy development in translation and interpreting studies (see also González Núñez and Meylaerts (eds) 2017).

The volume promotes research involving inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional approaches in order to appeal to communities of public service interpreting and translation, communities of research and practice, intercultural communication services and key stakeholders in policy development. The intended readership is therefore broader than the constituency of PSIT alone and extends to anyone interested in multicultural societies.

The volume is divided into two parts; the first, titled ‘(Re-)defining Concepts and Policy Contexts’ provides historical and contemporary perspectives on ideology in the development of interpreting at the service of state bodies and institutions. The chapters explore ideologies of recruitment, positioning, discourses of professionalization, PSIT and the democratic process, and the ethics and politics of recognition. The chapters are underpinned by theoretical frameworks that highlight political science as an increasingly important inter-discipline.

Part 2 titled ‘Experiences From the Field’ brings together contributions on interpreting in settings such as courtrooms, correctional facilities and in the pre-trial phases of criminal investigation. It focuses on interpreter mediation with asylum seekers, refugees and trauma survivors, drawing on case studies and survey-based studies. Ethical and ideological perspectives are foregrounded through a spotlight on issues of access to justice in correctional facilities and rehabilitation for limited proficiency speakers. Interlingual communication is theorized in particular through rights-based discourses.  The chapters offer new insight into different types of legal events in the European context and bring a fresh perspective on the use and training of interpreters in Europe and the United States.

We hope that the volume opens up useful discussion between educators, interpreting practitioners and key public service and community stakeholders with a view to developing coherent policy approaches to PSIT across domains and settings.

References:

González Núñez Gabriel and Reine Meylaerts (eds) (2017) Translation and Public Policy: Interdisciplinary perspectives and case studies, London and New York: Routledge.

For more information about this book, please see our website


How do Doctors Use Language to Shape, Challenge and Form Relationships?

13 June 2017

This month we published Reflective Writing in Medical Practice by Miriam A. Locher. In this post the author explains the focus of the book and how it came about.

This book is about the linguistic analysis of written reflective writing texts that were produced in the context of medical education and medical practice. The texts were collected from medical students from the University of Basel and the University of Nottingham (in connection with courses on communication skills in doctor-patient interaction), and are supplemented by a corpus of texts written by doctors for columns published in medical journals.

The genre of reflective writing has several purposes: it invites the writer to learn from a past experience and to reflect on potential future behaviour. In its focus on a past experience it involves narrative elements and in its trajectory on learning it involves reflection and projection. As a practice, the value of reflective writing has long been established within the medical humanities and medical professionals are encouraged to make reflective writing a life-long habit.

My own expertise in online health communication and (im)politeness studies led me to ask how medical students and doctors use language to shape, challenge and form relationships (a process for which I use the term ‘relational work’), and thus to study the texts in the reflective writing corpus from an interpersonal pragmatics perspective. In addition, the texts are explored with respect to topic, composition, and genre. In the book, we explore:

  • what topics and communication skills the authors write about
  • how the narratives develop
  • how these texts are shaped
  • what genres influence their composition
  • how relational work surfaces in them
  • how the writers linguistically create their identities as experts or novices

The medical humanities have long played an important role in medical training at the University of Basel. When I joined the staff of the English department in 2008, two important scholars on the medical humanities committee, Prof. Alexander Kiss (psychosomatics) and Prof. Franziska Gygax (English literary and cultural studies) approached me and we developed a joint interdisciplinary project entitled ‘Life (Beyond) Writing’: Illness Narratives, (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation). This project joins the study of life writing, reflective writing and medical education. During the years that the project was funded, we have learnt from each others’ different ways of developing questions and approaching data. We also organized an interdisciplinary conference, which resulted in an edited collection (Narrative Matters across Disciplines in Medical Practice, Benjamins, 2015).

The current book is the result of the linguistic branch of the project, which deals with the reflective writing corpus as outlined above. Our collaborator Victoria Tischler (Nottingham) and the linguistics project member Regula Koenig were important team members throughout the genesis of the book. While bringing the ideas together as a whole and writing it up was a single-author experience, I feel indebted to both and therefore use the authorial “we” when writing. Without their help in obtaining data, coding and feedback, the completion of this project would not have been possible.

More information on the author can be found on her website.

More information on the interdisciplinary project can be found on the project website.

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Medical Discourse in Professional, Academic and Popular Settings edited by Pilar Ordóñez-López and Nuria Edo-Marzá and English in Medical Education by Peih-ying Lu and John Corbett.

 


The Japanese writing system and the difficulties it poses for second language learners

8 June 2017

This month we are publishing The Japanese Writing System by Heath Rose. In this post, Heath reveals how his own struggles with studying the written language inspired him to write the book.

The Japanese writing system has fascinated me since I first began learning it as a high school student in rural Australia. This captivation remained with me when I became a teacher of the language, and later as a researcher of it. However, my relationship with Japanese is somewhat multifarious; while I have always appreciated the beauty in its complexity, I can be simultaneously frustrated with it and enamoured of it. Still to this day, I do not know any other language that mixes so many types of scripts within a single writing system. Japanese consists of two phonetic scripts (hiragana and katakana) that represent syllables in the language, a character-based script (kanji) that represents meaning-based units, and an alphabetic script (Romaji).

When I first learned kanji, I found the writing system to be a great source of motivation to study. There was beauty in the physical form of the scripts and I could see progress being made in my learning of the hiragana and katakana scripts, and the first few hundred kanji. This motivation slowly dissipated in later years of study, as I realised that I needed to learn many more thousand kanji, which seemed to represent the language in a haphazard manner. A learner must know more than 2000 kanji to be literate in the language, and many more thousand to develop a high level of expertise in it. What was once a source of joy, had developed into a laborious task of memorization that extended over a decade of intensive study.

I was fortunate to be able to live in Japan for eleven years. While I saw my spoken Japanese improve effortlessly during this time, my written Japanese still required formal classes, and daily self-study. When I lacked the time to devote to reviewing kanji, my proficiency was adversely affected. At that time it dawned on me that the written Japanese language and the spoken Japanese language were completely separate beasts; it was possible to advance in one and decline in the other.

My interest, as a researcher of the processes by which second language learners acquire written Japanese, grew from my own struggles with learning the language. In my research, which spanned a decade, I discovered patterns in learning that were indicative of good and bad practices. Some successful learners applied strategies to memorize kanji, such as making associations with their shape, components, or meanings. However, I concluded there was no definitive “magic” strategy for success. Rather, successful learners tended to cope with the magnitude of learning via successful self-regulation of their learning goals, and their learning behaviours.

I sum up my research (and the research of other linguists) in my new book titled The Japanese Writing System: Challenges, Strategies and Self-regulation for Learning Kanji. In this book research is discussed in terms of their implications for second language learners, teachers and researchers alike.

For more information about this book, please see our website. If you found this interesting, you might also like Second Language Writing Systems edited by Vivian Cook and Benedetta Bassetti. 


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