I wanted to say a few words about “tadoku”. First, go to this site:
The concept of “tadoku”, or extensive reading, is not new. When learning a language, you have to learn how to read, write, listen and speak. Always, speaking is the hardest because you’re dealing with not only fundamental language, but colloquial terms and slang as part of everyday speech. You can “tadoku” in any language, really.
Turning “tadoku” into a contest is a great way to push us Japanese learners to read more, read more… and just when you think you haven’t had enough, READ MORE. I’ve read so much in the last 7 days (that’s when I started), that my brain is almost ready to explode. Today was super condensed Japanese reading day, for instance. Manga reading in the morning, newspaper in the afternoon, and karaoke all night. All Japanese, all the time. In truth, that is how the experience of learning Japanese should be. It should be an all encompassing activity, as much immersion as an American-based experience will allow.
So to my fellow “tadoku” contestants, ganbatte ne! The goal is to be able to read our material, understand it and do so as fast as we can. Already I can see my reading patterns changing. I’m not dwelling on individual characters; I’m looking at it more as a whole. That in itself is tremendous progress.