I think I'd like to do a controlled study of how 2nd language learners learn kanji. If only so we could move on from anecdotal evidence or methods developed for native learners and develop some useful and proven techniques based on some sort of objective study.
First find a degree program, then find 500 odd test subjects and convince them to follow regimes and keep records then be tested on their skills. Should be enough to keep a team busy for a couple of years. Wonder if a Japanese Government Agency or Foundation would pay for it...?
I've read undergraduate dissertations. Other than getting a grade towards a degree, they always strike my as a somewhat futile exercise. Maybe half a dozen people will ever read it and maybe only the author might actually learn something. Even then the trend seems to be to show you've read someone else's books rather than come up with original ideas. Oh and the ability to present a structured argument I guess. Maybe it's a step on the way to writing something people might actually read.
jkid wrote:I hope my other post didn't come off as me making a mockery of your dissertation topic choice. I think it's an interesting and certainly a unique one. ago.
Not at all! On a slightly related note, I just got in touch with my old tutor to ask for a reference, and it turns out another of his old students has just finished a PhD in Japanese history - a microhistory of a village in Fukuoka, apparently. I wish I'd thought of that.