First I would like to explain my case. I am not a very eager student about English studies. I attended the class for three years only because I enjoyed listening to a different story every week. Story Listening thrilled me every time. I empathized with the characters in the story and probably because of that I do not seem to forget the content of the stories once I hear them.
It took me some time until I began to enjoy reading books in English. When I started reading, the books were easy, but still I was not used to reading in English, so it took me a long time to finish a book and could not go to the next level for the longest time. I often stopped reading for I was frustrated. All the same I picked up a book after a long blank and kept reading such books like:
- Macmillan 600 word level (The Truth Machine)
- Oxford Bookworm 400 word level (Elephant Man)
- Macmillan 1100 word level (Princess Diaries)
- Oxford Bookworm 700 word level (Henry VIII and His Wives)
I learned to enjoy reading books in English. I rarely encountered books that were very interesting, but I did read 100 books finally. When I was reading a book from Oxford Bookworm 1800 word level, a classmate recommended me to read “Because of Winn Dixie” , “Kira Kira”, and “Number the Stars”. I flinched from the thickness of the books, and let the books be on the shelf at home for some time, but as my classmate said that they were children’s books, I finally began to open one of them and ….
It was the first time I used tissue papers for tears and running nose many times and did not sleep all night long to read those books. Although these were children’s books, they were very well written. I do not know why I could read those books. Somehow, without my knowing why, how and when, I became to be able to read these books that I wanted to read.
As I got the taste of success I ordered several books from Amazon. I was so happy to be able to read books in English and enjoy them. I read “The Giver” and wanted to know what happened afterwards, so I ordered the following sequels. There are many words that I do not know in these books although I do understand the storyline. It is true that I am trying to read beyond my ability, so I plan to read books that I understand better more from now on, and develop my proficiency steadily.
The following is what I think is the effects of the comprehension-based methodology on me:
My awareness that I am poor at English diminished.
- I can travel abroad alone.
- I can now talk to a foreigner without hesitation.
- I can give a speech in English in front of other people
- I received a best speaker award twice at the Toast Master’s Club
- I now can enjoy writing in English.
- I now can enjoy finding different expressions when I write a speech or when I write
- messages to my friends overseas.
- I now laugh, cry and think when I read books in English.
- When I took the EIKEN level 2 test, I was not nervous and I actually enjoyed taking the test and past the test.
- When I listen to news in English I understand.
- I feel more positive about myself not only in English, but in other areas.
I am not conscious that my English ability remarkably improved, but I know that familiarity towards English, easiness and confidence increased. Honestly speaking, I sometimes feel uneasy and worry about not studying English using textbooks, but at the same time, thanks to this class, without particular difficulty I could overcome my allergy to English. With this methodology I could keep using the local library and keep reading in English for the rest of my life, which is a happy presentiment that I will be able to perform a dementia-free grandmother.