Before I go on to the next part of my daughter's tadoku history, I'll jot down? two findings that I'd like people to pay close attention to. Not many English teachers in Japan may agree with what I'm going to tell, but I think what I was able to observe over the course of my daughter's learning and also my own tadoku experiences would provide a very interesting perspective for the future of EFL (it sounds like blowing my horn as usual though), but I'm deadly serious here;-).
* To acquire in a fun way, or to learn the hard way?
I'm not one of them at all, but many Japanese seem to believe that it's more worthy and valuable to be good at something with heaps of hard work than with just a bit of effort. You're more likely to be appreciated if you're determined to accomplish something and work for it with all your time and effort. There are even those hardheaded teachers who believe that people wouldn't be able to achieve anything worthwhile unless they strive for it with a dedicated mind and continual hard work.
But I think this idea only makes language learning more difficult than it should be, and we'd never have as many Japanese people as we hope who are fluent enough to be friends with people abroad easily. Teachers have to know that there are many more fun and enjoyable ways of learning English by now. They shouldn't force them to make a tremendous effort like they did just because they'd learned it the hard way.
If you believe that learning shouldn't be fun like you enjoy your pastime, well, it's fine. Do as you please. But isn't it more promising if you can make your learning enjoyable? You're not likely to give up on halfway when you're feeling happy or excited. But what if you're always working hard with wrinkles between your eyes and hustling to your limit? I bet you'd start to find a good reason to quit your learning before long, unless you're inclined to be masochistic or something;-), and all of your efforts and dedications would end up being wasted.
So back to the point. Now it's got so easy to get your hands on many different kinds of interesting materials suitable for learning English, such as books and DVD, so there ARE actually more pleasant ways to be a good user, and all you have to do is to know what kind of books or DVD you can be crazy about, in other words, what could it be THE thing that you can be an *otaku* for. It doesn't matter what you like is educational or not. Just find something you can enjoy in English, then you're going to *acquire* English without realizing it just like you did in your mother tongue. It's kind of contradictory but you'd acquire more rapidly and effectively when you're *not* trying to learn anything consciously from the material. Just enjoy stories, music or whatever themselves, and devote yourself in what you really care about!
* Only lots of reading, and high score on listening (also becoming a fluent speaker)?
to be contined...