It's got really easy to buy English books or listen to English audio thanks to the development of the internet, and you can immerse yourself all day long in the world of English if you like. However, it's still very difficult, almost impossible, to find people around you who you can enjoy English conversation together in daily life unless you work for an foreign based company or you have someone, native speakers of English, in your family or in your close circle of friends in the neighborhood.
It's also the case for me and I have nil time to speak English. I really truly want to spend my time in English and I'm longing for that opportunity, but you know, I can't leave my family behind and let myself enjoy the life abroad or I don't wanna have a talk over a topic that doesn't appeal to me just because I can have a chance to speak English. I'm dreaming to go to some town in England sometime near future with my family, but I don't know if the right time comes...
Anyway, I'm so fed up with whining over the lack of chances speaking English, so after a looong absence, I started an online conversation lesson again in one of the services that offer lessons with reasonable fee. And to my delight, I got to find two very good and intriguing teachers just right for me, who tend to be more assertive and gabby when it comes to speaking in English.
Both of the teachers have been teaching English for more than several years and they know what the Japanese students like very well. Interesting thing is that when I came across those kind of teachers they often ask to me with sincerely curiosity that how I learned English conversation. I'm often said that I have my own accent that is totally different from other Japanese and my accent can't be placed exactly where it's from. I don't know if I should take those comments as a caution or a thing uttered from mere curiosity, but I can enjoy friendly conversation with them, so how uncommon or peculiar my accent can be, I find no reason to make my accent to more of a standarded one.
When I got those questions, I always try to explain the reason with my history of tadoku and how effective and enjoyable to learn English through tadoku. Of course, they've never heard of a word tadoku or the concept that you can learn the best you do English with whatever the materials that interest you the most, they don't seem to be satisfied with my assumption, but they say it's really good to know someone like me who's been through a different approach from other conventional ways for their further teaching carrier.
Some might say that English teachers are used to variety of pronunciation, so even if mine is hilariously strange, they try to understand and won't say anything to discourage me from taking more lessons. I know that's quite true. But whatever the situations are, I don't remember any moment I can't communicate smoothly with people abroad. About a year ago my family got people from Australia and their pronunciation was very hard to grasp, yet there was nothing I can't manage.
So, what I can't understand is that why many people in Japan try to acquire so beautiful and native like pronunciation? There are some schools which claim that people can't understand English well or you shouldn't start tadoku or other English learning method unless you master the correct pronunciation of English. Huh? what is the correct pronunciation? There are uncountable number of different pronunciation and accent in the world, then how are you going to pick one? What do you think the standard English in this age? English spoken over BBC? or the English spoken in big cities? The teacher I talked with yesterday said they think Canadian English is more like a standard, and I think it's quite understandable that I have some friends in Canada and their English is free from slang or strong accent.