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Katakana Memory Hint Flashcards

To the Teacher

KATAKANA Memory Hint Flashcards is designed to support teachers to introduce katakana in an enjoyable way using mnemonic pictures. They link the shape and the sound of katakana characters to a familiar word, image, and/or concept in English.

The illustrations in the flashcards are based on the KATAKANA Memory Hint app, so that students can learn more effectively in combination with the app, studying and revising katakana by listening to the sounds of the katakana characters and testing their knowledge with quizzes.

The flashcards are produced in PDF format and are designed to be printed out back to back on thick A4 paper. The flashcards can be printed out in a reduced size to make hand size cards. Click here to see how to print out hand size cards. Alternatively, students may create their own hand size cards.

Each flashcard has a QR code linked to the KATAKANA Memory Hint app.



How to use the flashcards

1. Using the front (illustration) side

The teacher introduces the sound of a katakana character with the mnemonic picture.

E.g., ‘ア‘for ‘ ice cream’.  The sound of the katakana character is shown in bold.

2. Using the Back (Hiragana) Side with QR code

The teacher can use the back (katakana) side to test students on the sound of the katakana character without the mnemonic illustration. Students can access the Katakana Memory Hint app using the QR code for further practice and testing.

Ideas for Using Flash Cards

Please select suitable cards for the games and activities. Explanation of the following games for flashcards are found in

  • バスゲーム(On the bus)
  • サッカーゲーム(Soccer)
  • にんげんすごろく(Human board game)
  • なにがない?(What’s missing?


Print out one sided in a reduced size to create hand size cards to make a class sets. (see this image)
Select the cards of katakana characters which are taught in class. Alternatively students can make their own hand size cards.

Combination of katakana cards and cards with their illustrations and/or katakana cards and hiragana cards can be used.

  • かるた(Grab)
  • カードあわせ(Matching)
  • しんけいすいじゃく(Concentration)


Cultural notes: Katakana words

Related Resources

Resource created by The Japan Foundation, Sydney (May 2020).

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