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Why Tadoku Is Important (and why you should care)

Whether or not you’re a Twitter user, this may be the time to sign up. That’s right, it’s Tadoku Season again! As we know:

The ReadMOD contest was established to promote this least-method-like of methods.  It is extremely simple: read every day for a month, and report your pagecount; the person with the highest pagecount at the end wins eternal* fame and glory, the adulation** of the other contestants, and notably improved language skill.

*where “eternal” refers to a time frame of about three months, until the next contest

**mainly serves to cause people to be determined to knock the winner off their perch the next go round

via Lan’dorien here.

I’ve also talked about Tadoku before, but I think I should talk about why Tadoku is extremely important to language learning.

Of course we all know the point of the “contest”—read as much as you can to “win” the contest, by reading everyday for a month. It’s good fun in a no-real-losers contest, everyone “wins”.

After the contest is done, then what? Keep reading! This is where I think the core of ReadMOD lies: to keep going in the contest, you have to find time during your day to read as much as you can in your target language. Suddenly, you’ll find time where you didn’t think you had any before. ReadMOD forces you to analyze your day, find the gaps of free time you can fill with L2 reading, and fill them.

So when you finish ReadMOD, the contest never really ends. You keep challenging yourself to fill the gaps with L2 content. This doesn’t necessarily have to be reading, but it does give you a better grasp on what you can do with your time during a typical day.

That is to say, there’s no reason to force yourself to read one page a day after the contest, but you will be better equipped to at least read more!

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