Jun 24, 2011


It's hot, nothing but hot!
Under this crazy sun and heat, ranting this and that in my blog won't do any good nor harm, so I'm going to allow myself to pity on my close-to-nil improvement over English competence...

Many of you coming to my blog might be interested in how you can learn English well and pleasantly to be a fluent user of English and I believe it's not too much to say that tadoku is indispensable to acquire a higher lever of competency.

Then when you refer to "tadoku," how much amount of reading/listening English are you assuming that you have to go through?
Do you call over 1,000,000 words of reading English books tadoku?
How about 300,000 words??

Tadoku has got to be known widely in Japan and many schools started to implement it, but I'm worried if teachers and students really understand the amount of English they need before they start to show an apparent improvement.

Last month, I read this ebook, which was a free book from an author's official site and I didn't know how long the story was. It took me almost a whole month to get through with it and it turned out to be that it was a series of almost 15 books and got 1,ooo,ooo words in all^^;;; So I read one million words in one month.

This month, I've been trying to take a lot rest to calm the irritated herniated disks in my back, so I keep reading books fairly many and it's almost one PB in two to three days. If I can hold this pace reading books, I'll have read one million words at the end of the month, too. I'm reading a lot, right? I think even for teachers of English, the number of words I'm reading is astonishing.

However, I don't know I should be lamenting over the lack of improvement or be delighted that I won't be over forever learning English..., I felt almost none change or progress in my English ability. It could be because I'm too old to experience rapid improvement or I'm simply not cut out to be learning languages, but I have to say this; you won't acknowledge the power of tadoku unless you literally do tadoku.



sloppie said...


BTW, do you think people who are searching for a better and easy way to learn English and somehow reach you can read and get what you mean from such a long post of your ranting?(Or are you teasing them?)

Anyway, I really hope you will get better...

Mrs. Malone said...


Huh, teasing? How come!! After all, most of my blog posts are rants 'n raves, so I'm not expecting anyone, who happens to run into my blog while googling, to read them and start to doubt their way of learning English ^^;;;

It'd be great if someone got curious about tadoku through reading my posts and decide to challenge this fascinating approach, but I think it's highly unlikely, unless you're one of otaku, right?

I don't mind if I get better or not. I only wish to move in a home for elderly, where I can relax and enjoy lots of care... I'm fed up with taking care of THE children, you know there is one big child other than the boy and the girl, in my house...

sloppie said...

I know. That's why I made up the fabulous new word "otadokist".

And I DO mind your health. How can you say that you don't mind yourself? Don't you want to have fun at Ikebukuro or Nakano, or watch the play directly which will surely be better than the previous one? Keita-kun will be waiting for you to come!

Tsubasa said...

Your posts are not rant at all, at least for me! And your writings are progressing so much.
I am so sorry, I know it's so rude for a layman like me to say this, but I can say this because I have kept reading your blogs ever since you had started writing in English, though without leaving any comments because I had' got a slight courage to write here, though up until now^^;)

At first, all what you said here sounded too incredible or unbelievable to me. I was like," She could do this because it is her, not me.)

But I have kept being fascinated with your writings. All what you've said have kept lingering in my head.

And because you kept writing, saying
"Come on, Join us. You can do it. Give it a try!", (sometimes it sounded a bit bitter to me, though^^;), I could try many things.

You let me start reading comics in English. You let me start writing English posts on lang-8.

And what do you think happened to me?

Now I've learned how fun and effective to read commic books in English. My daughters and students started enjoying them too.

You made me even not care about my daughters' English test scores at school^^;)

I've got sooo many good friends on lang-8, to exchange our thoughts and opinions with great excitement!

I often talk with some of them about lots of things like our family, dreams, books, comics, dramas, (including 仁!!)

Sitting in the corner of my teeny-tiny living room, in front of PC, I feel like that I've got a magical everywhere window, which I never thought it would open for me. Recently, I feel like flying in the sky with the wings of "English" on my back^^!

See, how much you've encouraged me?
You said to me, "You've changed recently.", the other day we met. Remember?
Actually, I've got lots of things which affected me so much for the past few years.
But you are also one of the big reasons which moved and changed me^^.

Hope you keep writing (or ranting?) here.^^ There must be always someone who is listening to you and trying something new just like I did.

I'm sorry if I went too far, but these are what I really wanted to tell you soon or later.

I'm always looking forward to your new posts^^

And let me add one more thing.
It might make you embarrased, but Today, I can never leave here without saying this.

"Thanks trillions for all the things, Mrs Malone."^^

Whiskers said...

Tsubasa-san already said what I wanted to say, so I don't repeat it here. Probably you sometimes feel frustrated that some people-especially those who don't read that much-talks about tadoku as if it's a magical way or something to learn, or even 'master' English.
You don't?? Sorry, probably I'm the one who's frustrated.
Your writing is amazing, and at the same time, I'm impressed with sloppie-san. The amount, the flow and everything... It all proves how effective tadoku is, or rather how many doors tadoku can open to us. Right?

e_dub_kendo said...

First of all, as a native English speaker I can say that your English writing is far more natural and fluent than the vast majority of English learners I've encountered, on or off the internet. You say you didn't feel the progress from reading 1,000,000 English words in a month, but think about what you just said: You read 1,000,000 words in English in a month. You were able to read and enjoy English that rapidly, that fluently. There aren't that many NATIVE English speakers who read 1,000,000 words a month. That's impressive.

Second, I want to link to something that I like to read from time to time when my progress in 日本語 feels like its going too slowly, or has me down. It's targeted at English speakers learning Japanese, but its just as applicable in the other direction, a little piece called "Are we there yet?": http://bit.ly/lGlLqH . (If you didn't already know, "are we there yet?" is the stereotypical thing English speaking kids say over and over on long car trips).

You are an inspiration, a beacon of light, living proof at the effectiveness of tadoku as a language learning method. Don't doubt yourself. Don't doubt tadoku. Don't be so frustrated. Just enjoy the process. You are doing the very things you wanted to learn English to be able to do, right? Reading English books and enjoying English media, writing and speaking in English, and communicating with and to English speakers. When you can think about it like that, there's no hurry to be "there yet" because in a since, you've already arrived.

Mrs. Malone said...


Yes, I'm dying to do many many things, which I can do only in the big city Tokyo, before I retire to some quite place. However, as you know well, the gap between the vigor and intensity in my mind and the physical mobility is so huge than I've got to restrict myself not to excite and overload my body and do harm again on parts in cure... おばあちゃんになった気分になっとかないと、おとなしくしてらんないんだもん・・・舞台DVDでるかなあ?

Mrs. Malone said...

>>> Tsubasa-san
How should I reply to your passionate and generous comment..., it's been about ten years since I was fascinated with tadoku, and along the way, I came to know some English teachers and tadoku doers. Of all the people, you're one of them who have shown amazing changes on the attitudes toward learning English and I'm glad to know that you don't regret having been changed one bit. Seeing such drastic shifts was my joy and also become incentive to keep on doing tadoku.
Our voyage has just begun in GR, and I hope it's going to move on forward steadily and peacefully and may grant us countless enjoyments!

Mrs. Malone said...

>>> Whiskers-san

mmm, why are we, sloppie-san, Tsubasa-san and you, hanging around here like an Idobata??? We should be talking about tadoku in GR!, or what is the GR community for? ^^;;;

Yeah, as you wrote, I'm kind of sick of some people, who are influential over English education in Japan, keep saying that tadoku itself has got some magic and everything will be all right and eventually you'll be fluent in English.

But I highly doubt, unless you're a professional and use English on the job, so your serious engagement and efforts are rewarded physically, like income, those who learn English for fun can keep enjoying tadoku only with ample of books. We've got to have something other than many books and I think one of the important factors is finding comrades like us.
It's not how but what and who that lead you to right path to be a good user... I believe.

Mrs. Malone said...

Hi e_dub_kendo-san,

When I finished reading your comment, I went GOSH! and felt like going over the Jupiter. ^^;

Thank you oh so very much for coming to my messy blog and leaving me a message. Nothing inspires me more than generous and encouraging words from tadoku friends, especially those from native speakers.

I don't seem to stop whining "are we there yet" and I think that's partly because I began to mingle myself with native speakers at some communities.

For example, when I read some book reviews in goodreads, I realize my understanding a story is too shallow to discuss it with other members. It's nothing to complain about, considering only few Japanese are capable of joining such a native dominant site and going so far as creating a community, though...
(By the way, are you interested in being the very first male member at tadoku community in GR?)

I've known Katsumoto's site. I left some message two or three years ago and I'm all for his approach. That thread you recommended is truly helpful.

I'm going to come back to read your comment when I'm down and pour enough fuel into my engine for tadoku.
Thank you!