I work in the field of Web-Design. In order to live in this industry it is necessary to continually obtain the up-to-date information. The information in the Japanese language block is limited compared to the information in the English language block, and also the dispatch of information is delayed. Furthermore the translated article is not always clear which cause inaccurate understanding. I find this an important issue that one can only get information just in Japanese. For a long time I knew that I needed to improve my reading ability in English to be able to read articles on the Internet, but I did not know how to do it and the time was passing.
Then, I saw a leaflet that advertised the Open College by Shitennoiji University, and decided to join the course offered by Dr. Beniko Mason. I remember getting very excited when I heard the research findings that reading helped improve English ability and helped gain scores on the TOEIC. I decided to follow her guidance and read books. Since then I went to and from the university library almost every day. It was not hard to read many books in English as I liked to read anyway. The books that I was reading were easy simple. Like other classmates, I began to read Penguin 200 word level books. Gradually I began to read 600 word level, 1100 word level, 1600 word level, 2200 word level and 3000 word level (Note: His reading record is included in the last chapter). As I was getting used to read books, I began to read articles on the Internet also. FVR is not just to read stories. Story-listening is not just listening to folk tales. Reading graded readers help you to start reading serious business related articles on the Internet. Story-listening in Dr. Mason’s class helps you understand more serious academic lectures. The acquire ability from reading and listening easy stories develop the foundation for even higher-level contents. I believe that this is the most powerful weapon for anyone who will live in the future information-oriented society.
It has been about 4 years since I began my FVR. I still read books in English in 2015. I read books now that I read before in Japanese. It is the real pleasure of receiving the uncooked message from the author. The ability to read in English opens up a new unknown field. I strongly recommend FVR with story-listening. (note: Mr. Kashihara earned his Doctorate degree in Computer Science while he was in the reading program.)