January begins the first extensive reading contest of 2012. The Read More or Die (ReadMOD) contests encourages those in pursuit of their L2 to read as much as possible in that second language during the month of January.
The website’s about page explains the goals of extensive reading:
Extensive reading, to be exact, refers to reading large volumes of material at or very slightly above one’s comprehension level, aiming for overall understanding of the work instead of worrying about every detailed twist of grammar or every word. This approach stresses learning from context and getting used to the language by massive exposure instead of understanding things point by point.
So extensive reading encourages you to learn vocabulary like you do in your native language – through context. It also helps you to get used to the language, to acquire a passive vocabulary, and to have massive amounts of fun!
I learned a lot of my English vocabulary from reading a lot of books when I was younger, and I continue to do so to this day. So it would be natural for me to learn more words in the languages I’m learning through reading. Plus, I love to read, so I can enjoy it as well :)
The contest runs through twitter! (@TadokuBot) It is traditionally for those whose L2 is Japanese (hence the name tadoku - 多読, the Japanese word for “extensive reading”) but anyone can participate, studying any language or as many languages as they like. Some people already have ridiculous pagecounts – some are in the thousands! (I suspect that they’re reading video games, but who knows…perhaps they’re just that good at their L2!) The ranking page is updated after every update tweet ; I’m currently at 29! I’ve been fluctuating between rank 10 and 30 for days, so I guess it’s time to kick it up!
I’ve read a few pages of my new textbook 「上級への扉」 (Gateway to Advanced Japanese), so those should definitely count. I am also reading the full series of よつばと！ and 「五年生のスケッチ」, and I’ll post about those later. I don’t know what goal I’m aiming for – I haven’t done this before so this is really sort of trial and error. But the next time Tadoku rolls around, I should be able to pick a goal and keep it!