New Years Resolution

Another year goes by, another chance for reflection and resolution. I was not super-dedicated to my studies over the course of this past year, and some life events led to me being fairly busy and having to put things on the back-burner for a little while. However, I am fairly satisfied with the progress and accomplishments that I did see. I am confident that I am starting 2017 off with stronger Japanese ability than I had at the start of 2016. I’ve also got a resolution for the coming year. 2017 will be my year of 多読!

Tadoku, or extensive reading, is going to be my primary focus for this coming year. I’m primarily going to be focusing on reading children’s books. Particularly, I’ll be reading from EhonNavi. For those unfamiliar with this site, I’ll be talking about it more soon. I’ve actually started some extensive reading for the past several weeks now, using a variety of sources, so I feel like this is something that I should be able to keep up for a while. I would ideally like to read every single book offered on EhonNavi (of which there are over 1000), during the coming year. I have no idea if that is a feasible objective, and maybe I’ll get bored and give up after a couple months. But, I think that this is something worth pursuing.

The nature of children’s books makes them kind of frustrating, in some ways. The grammar sometimes resembles nothing that I have ever seen in a textbook, and it seems like half of the words might either be onomatopoeia, or some strange modification of real words. They totally avoid kanji, which makes it harder to recognize words that I already know. But on the other hand, there are some good qualities to them. The language is simple, despite sometimes being unusual. Sentences tend to be short and use a limited vocabulary. Stories are short, so if you don’t like something, another brand new story is just around the corner. The pictures are also a huge help for understanding words and sentences that you wouldn’t be able to understand on their own. They are also a lot of fun sometimes.

I’ve decided on this because I would like to increase my reading speed and fluency. I would also genuinely like to be able to understand children’s books better. I mean, if a freakin’ kid who can barely talk can understand this stuff, why should it be so hard for me, right? I think that once I work my way through these, it should help open up the door to more traditional children’s manga and novels.

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