Well, since I’ll be going to Japan soon, I want to level up my Japanese.
For this I will be tracking my reading in my blog. This blog isn’t just for TPRS or story making. It’s just a general blog for myself, and I happen to really love foreign languages. 😀 I’m really happy that I’m able to teach languages and learn here in Korea.
Recently I’ve been attending the city hall classes in Ulsan. They are going well. I mostly like the social aspects of the class environment. We only meet once a week, so I’m not sure how much my Korean will improve due to the class. But every little bit helps.
Now, onto my Tadoku (extensive reading).
For those of you who don’t know what Tadoku (多読）많이 일기 or extensive reading is, it is a way of reading to gain reading fluency while picking up vocabulary through context. Mostly reading fluency is built up. You want to acquire the vocabulary slowly through reading.
Here are the simple rules for extensive reading:
Rule 1: Read at an easy level.
Maybe 1 or 2 levels below what you think you can read. How do you know what you can read? If you find more than 4 words on the page that you don’t know, it’s probably too hard for extensive reading. However if there are 5 or 6 and you enjoy the content so much, just keep on reading it.
Rule 2: Read without a dictionary.
This goes along with rule 1. The thing is you want to read a lot and quickly. You want to speed up your reading pace. if you spend an hour reading a page and looking up the words, this is not extensive reading. This is intensive reading. Intensive reading is great, but that is for building vocabulary and working on translation skills. Extensive reading is building fluency skills. You will notice how sentences are put together and see patterns over and over. That is what you want with extensive reading. With intensive reading you will read too slow to acquire the patterns quickly enough.
Rule 3: Skip over the stuff you don’t know or are not sure of.
This was the most freeing thing I noticed while doing extensive reading. It’s okay to just move on. You’ll be a faster reading by not getting hung up on a few words or phrases. As the story progresses the meaning of those words may come to you. It happens often, actually.
Rule 4: If the book is boring, change it!
No seriously, this is meant to be pleasure reading in the foreign language. The key to learning is to make things interesting. If it’s painfully boring, go on to something else. Your brain will soak up interesting content, and try to block out the boring stuff. It’s science!
So those are the rules. What did I read today?
Well, I went to the most wonderful place in Tokyo last october and bought some self published books especially made for language learners of Japanese. Here is their website. NPO多言語多読
I’ve read all of their books already, but I stopped reading Japanese extensively and I feel it really just killed my progress. You gotta keep that language running through your head, and extensive reading is a fabulous way to do just that. It’s like boiling water. If you keep on taking the pot off the fire, it won’t boil.
So… here is my fire: ジャックと豆の気
I read this book today. Man, I really missed reading in Japanese. This book has a total of 17 pages.
My other fire: ヘンザルとクレーテル
I also read this book right after. It has a total of 14 pages.
Therefore today, I read 31 pages of Japanese. Not bad! And now it’s time for my Japanese lesson. Until tomorrow!