Mild, warm weather we've been having in Tokyo during the start of the new year. I hope you will all have a peaceful and fruitful year and also your tadoku life and user or English life will be more exhilarating and gratifying.
For the first entry of a new year, I'd like to talk about the importance of exposure for learning languages. Some of you readers might remember that I wrote about it in my second ebook and here again I'd like to strongly propose to make *exposure* as one of your resolutions this year.
The role of exposure for language learning itself is nothing new or radical, but I'm afraid there won't be many English teachers in Japan who acknowledge the importance of huge amount of exposure for students to be a fluent user of English. In contrast there seems to be many many teachers who nudge students to do tiresome rote memorization of new words or read aloud same boring sentences in textbooks again and again until they can recite them without reading them.
Exposure has to come first. As long as you live in Japan, there are no worries for you to have too much exposure of English. Exposure is the first step for becoming fluent in English. Nothing will be gained unless you've got an affluent amount of listening and reading of English material. I know there have to be many people who can't take my, an obachan's, words seriously, and are hesitant to give it a try, but here is an article you just can't ignore; Japan should take English lessons from Philippines.
"As long as English is treated as a subject rather than a method of
communication, students will get little exposure outside the classroom."
I think the word exposure sounds a bit demanding and you might feel overwhelming, thinking that you have to get active and seek for an every single opportunity to let yourself immerse in English words and sounds. But what if you translate it like 英語に囲まれる. All you have to do is to install such an environment where you're unconsciously surrounded by English sounds at home. Or you always take an English book with you whenever you go out, so you're always ready to read it when you have time to spare at a station or an office. With English 囲む you all the time, then you'll naturally absorb the feel of the language English day in and day out.