Oct 17, 2011

私がすすめるto read analytically というものは・・・

I wrote about the entry about reading analytically, thinking no one would be interested in that kind of topic. But I found some tadokers talking about in what way we should be reading books if we ever be able to learn something while reading. I'm afraid that my previous entry might be misleading without further explanation, so this time I'm going to go over exactly what I'm doing in my mind during my reading a book. I use some easy sentence from the book I'm reading now and explain one by one with a bit of comments. OK, here I go...

Excerpt from:
Writing Alone and With Others
Writing Alone and With Others
"Free writing is essentially this: For a specified number of minutes, write freely anything and everything that comes to mind. Keep your pen moving. Make no editorial changes as you write. Try to accept any image, any words that come; just write."

There are one or two big words, essentially or specified, but I think the sentence itself is written with simple and plain style. Now, I'm going to show you which parts I got curious and took a bit of time to think over before reading further.

ここはa/theついてないな Free writing is essentially this:  あ ! ":" が使ってある For  ":" の後は大文字で始めるんだな  a specified number of minutes,  ここは "," がいるよな write freely anything and everything  "anything and everything"と重ねることで何でも!書いてごらんが強調できるんだな that comes  おお、comeがいい感じ出してる   to mind. Keep your pen moving. Make no  Do not make any よりこっちのほうがよりダイレクトだ  editorial changes as you write. Try to accept any image  ふむ "s" なしか・・・ , any words that come; just write.  ほほう、";" で区切ってさらにjust write でダメ押しだね

That's what I do in my mind while I'm reading those books that I came to like not only its story but also its style and voice.

So, the difference between the general 精読 and my analytic reading is:

- I choose a material which is just right for me. Not too difficult nor complicated, the easier the better. I don't read analytically to understand the meaning of the sentence, but to learn how the author let words work effectively and create some unity in the sentence.

- It's got to have something that I can synchronize myself with its tone and let me be eager to acquire some essence of the writing from.

- I don't usually read slowly and intensely when I read fiction. It doesn't matter the book is for children or grown-ups. Fictions are just too unique to learn how to write, I guess.

How I wish we tadokers get together and talk about the way we read books and share some ideas to be a good writer of English...

(some more...)
While I was reading a new blog entry of my beloved author, Josh Lanyon, I came across an important message for writers and I'm going to share it with you since I thought the message is the very thing that Japanese learners of English, especially when you're interested in writing, need to be aware of all the time.
"Ultimately, good writing is about finding your own voice, learning how to say what you need to say in the most effective way possible."


neo said...

Thank you for your blog entry. Now I could understand well what you want to say. You showed us how to do analyticall reading your way so clearly. After reading your entry, I noticed maybe I'd get a sense of a, the etc... form books like your analtically reading. It's not coming from grammar books and textbooks.

I think it is very a sensitve part for Tadoker. It's hard to understand for beginners the differences between analytically and Seidoku. For some people, they are similar but some experienced Tadokers can catch the feeling of the differences.

This talking is for experienced and very risky to Tadoku beginners.

Thank you so much going into details deeply for us especially me. You are like my partner ahaaa...I think your entry and mine are going togther just like a couple. But I know you give me some advices and anwers.

I like your dirctly words so so much. You are always being sincere for others having heartwarming. Thanks emmie-san.

Whiskers said...


Thanks for sharing such nice words. Yes, we are trying to find our own voice!

Finally you revealed some of your secrets, although I don't think you've been hiding them. I'm not sure if your method will be good for anybody, but it can be a hint or a tip for lots of people who are hoping to be able to write in their non-native language. I find myself too old to read that analytically as you do, but it inspired me to try harder sometimes(not always-that's the key ;P). Hope my writing will be improved, so that I can leave the backyard where I eat 'a' chicken! Hee hee.

BTW, don't you think it's straaaange why 精読 is usually regarded as translation, not as intensive reading? At the school where I'm teaching and probably at most of others 'intensive reading' means translation and no teacher finds it strange. This shows how rotten English education in this country is. Behind this problem maybe teachers' lack of confidence is lying. It'll cause a lot of work if they try to ask questions about the content of a passage, a chapter or a book in English. If they just translate the material into Japanese, suddenly it's much easier. See?

Mrs. Malone said...

Hi neo-san,
There aren't many tadoker teachers for now and we're all scattered around Japan. It'd be good if we can always get together and exchange ideas, but we just can't. We have to go with those teachers who still believe in the traditional English education whether we like it or not.

Then what happens? We sometimes start to wonder if what we're doing with tadoku approadh is really good, if there is some other better way to learn English than tadoku...

At that time, we need a strong minded friend who will pull us back to the right track and say, "look what you've got through tadoku. You can't be this fluent and confident if you had kept studying as other teachers/learners do..."

I'm really thankful to have a friend like you with a vigorous and compassionate mind.

Look at your comment for this entry. Your message is so long and it flows quite natural, right? You made a right decision to quit the lesson of J to E translation, don't you think?

Mrs. Malone said...

Hi Whiskers-san,

How's your endeavor of reading with kindle going? Ask me anytime! It sure is complicated for someone who doesn't know much about free applications or file handling to use kindle to its full capacity. Don't miss the chance to be a techno gal!
(I won't teach your everything from the beginning, but don't hesitate to ask me before you're worn out ^^;;;)

Oooh, please whiskers-san, you, such a clever girl, shouldn't utter a distasteful word like rotten, haha. I no longer can understand why all so many English teachers blindly continue to practice the same method of grammar oriented lesson. This Japan is covered with those people who can't use English at all after having through several years of tough study. It's natural to start to doubt something is fundamentally wrong with the method... I'm too furious to say any by now.
But, at the same time, I kind of ready to give up on the idea of ideal English education for now. After having been a tadoker for about ten years, I came to realize that your English ability could be improved way beyond you imagine. It'll never be late to study English, don't you think?

Whiskers said...

Hi again, emmie-san,

Well, I received the kindle on last Saturday, charged it on Sunday, and downloaded one free sample on Tuesday! See how slow a techno-impaired dinosaur is! I might die before I learn how to enjoy the gadget to the full. Duh..
Yap, I'll ask you questions, but at first I have to find out what I don't understand. Pathetic!!

It's not related to this entry much, but I'd like to write it here because I read your comment on Neo-san's blog.
Today I found a couple studying in a classroom after school. The girl said that she didn't know grammar and her boyfriend proudly said that he was just explaining 5 patterns of sentences(!). I don't know if I hurt his pride or not, but anyway I told her that she shouldn't worry about the (stupid) 5 patterns. If only she could tell how each verb usually functions-an objective can follow it directly or not-everything'll be much easier. She kind of exclaimed 'Wow!' I hope it was a real cry of joy, not a fake.
You see, the boyfriend is only 19 years old and he tried to teach his girlfriend English grammar starting with the 5 patterns. How would you describe it? English education in our country is stained? とにかく「こびりついてる」んですわ。はー。

Yeah, I can say it'll never be late to study English. However, thinking about myself, I very often wish if I had met tadoku earlier.... Well, everybody says there is no 'what-ifs.'