Jun 14, 2008


Tadoku, extensive reading, has been acknowledged as an effective approach to learn English in Japan these days, and some teachers began to introduce Tadoku in their schools.

This seems to be an encouraging movement in old fashioned, terribly inefficient, boring, absurd (oh, my, it'll never end) English education in Japan.
But, I still need to see before I clap my hands loud.

Unfortunately, there are some teachers who have no idea what the real Tadoku is and haven't read lots of easy simple books by themselves.
They just introduce the method of Tadoku by imitating the ways which famous teachers have tried and reported some remarkable progresses among students, in many cases, very talented ones.

I guess those teachers never understand the true reason why so many grown-ups have shown such amazing progresses and some, including me, became an enthusiastic advocate of Tadoku.
They don't realize they're only repeating the same mistakes as grammar oriented English education did.

I'm afraid such teachers find their Tadoku class shows little success and start to say passive lessons focused on rote memory are after all efficient than Tadoku.

I found an article about reading education in US.
I see the future of misunderstood Tadoku approach might follow in this article.


I think introducing Tadoku into regular classes at school is way too early.
Teachers should argue more about the benefit and the demerit of Tadoku.
Is there any suitable ways, like club activities, to introduce Tadoku into schools?

What do you think?

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語の日記へ


Chicosunny_e said...

I must tell you that your blog is really provocative of my flames of mind. My heart boils whenever I read your blog. sorry to bother you by sending such a long comment but I can't help it!
I was surprised to read the article you introduced because that's exactly what's happening to my daughter, Momo. She has homework everyday to write journal and read something for 30 min. I can't help the furious anger rising from myself. Reading and writing are pleasurable activities for her till now and this teacher is ruining that by making that mandatory work. It is ok to give them boring routine work like those Kanji Drills. I understand that is something we've got to deal with as long as we're in a public school. Considering some other benefits such as making friends, I try to look away when I find irrational works that the teacher command to my daughter. After all, the world is full of those irrational people and business and she's got to learn how to overcome such obstacles. School plays such an important role in the sense, however, I distasted disguised-conspiracy or hypocritical consideration which usually applied to justify your actions. I'm aware of the harsh sounds of my comments. I'm mad at the teacher that much. She is quite young and enthusiastic teacher trying to change the world of her students without knowing that she is not GOD. I can't stand the condescending attitude of adults. Kids are much much much smarter and brilliant thinker than they can ever imagined. It is nothing but arrogance to push your belief onto someone even if they are much younger and have less knowledge. She said to me "I'd like to have mutual trust with your daughter in order to build solid relationship." Then how come she pushed her to squeeze out her voice. She is not a machine! She can do soulless boring work as she whistles jolly tunes but writing journals and reading have been nurturing her soul and such things can't be judged or measured by the amount. If she did NOT assigned reading and writing, she would have loved those for her life time. If she doesn't do her assignment, she would be humiliated and get more of them as a punishment. She's been trying to squeeze out her voice to write diary. I wonder how long she can take that. I'm afraid to hear her saying "I hate it!" . Fortunately, reading has become part of her life and
she doesn't mind "reading" assignment at the moment and I told her not to worry about 30 min. part. I just want to beg not to take her pleasures away anymore, not to ruin the little bud she cultivated in her heart. It is precious and can't be made instantly.
All I can say is to sit and wait to see what happens?
I don't think so. I've got a few project going but I should shut up and go right now before making you totally worn out.

mrs. malone said...

Hi Chico! I'm afraid I might have been awfully disturbing your study of Univ.^^; Sorry to say?, but I found another! provocative story. Enjoy the new article~.
Talking about teachers at elementary school, I always try to be supportive to my children's classroom teacher. All teachers are not perfect and I want to believe that all their efforts should come from good intention to educate children the better way. But, one time when my daughter was a third grader, I couldn't help blowing up!
My daughter's writing is slur?, not good, and everyday she had to struggle with the Kanji practice.
What is worse is that she got red marks all the Kanji she wrote the day before and had to write all of them again. Can you imagine what you feel if you get all, yes literally all, Kanji letters you really worked hard are corrected with red marks.
This teacher proudly said one time in the parent and teacher meeting,'It's terribly hard work to check all the Kanji homework and sometimes I feel like vomiting!, but I'm proud of myself doing this tough job.' I totally lost my word...
Only to this teacher I couldn't sit back and said that Kanji practice is indispensable but my daughter's not going to do one of homework because she reads lots of books at home and I don't see any merit her reading the same story in the textbook again and again.
Does this my experience help you some? まったく、いろいろありますね。
By the way, this time I wrote this story without my EGO, 見栄を張らないで, and it was fun. I hope I can write easily in several years like you.

Chicosunny_e said...

emmie-san! Your blog is surely provocative but it actually help me to deal with some of boring work at university. I mentioned on my blog but I found quite convincing explanation on you-tube last night. Which is you've got to willingly suspend your disbelief from time to time. That's what our kids need to do at school, to a certain degree, because they always get some training to be full, to be an independent grown-up. They need some hardships to strength their soul, I guess. But like you said,if the hardship goes on to almost fatal wound, we've got to make actions no matter how intimidating you feel. At the same time, I've got to try not to brainwash my daughter with my wired belief as well.
Thanks for giving me chance to think over this issue. It has been such an educating journey and would love to walk along with you a bit further.
Hope you don't mind...

PS Needless to say, but just in case.... Don't set my writing as an example, it contains lots of errors.