Yoshinori Tanaka


Timeline of Literacy

December 4, 1992 - January 23, 2018

First book that I read

Approx. November 6, 1996

I remember I was in the bed before I went to sleep, my mother almost always used to read the Very Hungry Caterpillar. It was like Goodman says, "the writing roads to literacy development occur simultaneously with the reading roads. Families write letter , notes, and special-occasion cards" (p. 57). It was a first book that I can claim that started everything.

When I first started writing

Approx. January 1, 1997

I remember when I first started writing, since I could already speak some Japanese (which is my native language), I was curious when I go outside with my family and see all the characters on signs and billboards. I used to ask my mother how to read by me guessing it first. Then she told me either yes, if the way I read was correct, and if not, she corrected me. That's same thing as when Goodman says "within the home and in the community there is also the survival road to literacy" (p. 57). Not only readings, but also writing as well.

First fiction novel

Approx. May 19, 1999

I recall that this year I watched the Star Wars I Phantom Menace. And I read the book in Japanese kind of by myself, but I needed help asking questions to my parents. Because I did not understand the whole meaning of the story because it was a fiction.

Becoming more reading literate in ancient Japanese readings

April 14, 2006

When I was in junior high school, we had to literally learn how to read ancient Japanese readings in the textbooks. I did not feel obligated or anything. However, I felt the way I was looking at the readings from different angle. My junior high school teacher was teaching us the advance reading skills.
However, when it comes to the understanding and disciplinary, it takes time. my teacher was patient with the students, and he taught us in different words and different gestures, so we all could understand, and was able to have some kind of interests in that particular material. "Few teachers have been asked to teach the reading skills that students need
in each subject. They consider themselves responsible for teaching their
subjects only—not for teaching students reading skills. Some teachers in
various subjects have resisted efforts to incorporate reading instruction into
their courses for fear that they are being asked to become “reading teachers.”

Started learning English

Approx. April 14, 2007

I started learning English in my junior high school, but this time was the time I started learning it seriously and I was not totally good at it. But I kept trying because I did not want to give up because of my English teachers were very poor at teaching. Yes, I was obligated maybe this time, but I was not forced to do anything. I wanted to learn and I was kind of doing self-teaching at home and after school seminar. "In fact, subject-area teachers are best qualified to help their students
master texts in each course. Subject-area teachers should not be expected
to teach basic reading skills, but they can help students develop critical
strategies and skills for reading texts in each subject" (p. 5, 21, Bouel).

Came to Hawaiʻi

June 5, 2008

I came to Hawaiʻi without knowing any English. I was illiterate. There is nothing else to say. I was desperate, and everything I do, I could not provide the language (English) I could understand them, but I was not able respond to what other people said.

Graduating high school

May 26, 2012

I felt the way of graduating high school like first thing I accomplished on my own independently. My sophomore year, I struggled really hard on chemistry and U.S. History classes. I could not catch up on reading and my grades were kept going down and down. I told my dean that I might not be able to pass those two classes. She told me "try your best". I was thinking in my head head "I am doing that, but I cannot that is why I am here and talking to you". But after she told me "try your best" I said "okay", then I walked out of her office. Then I changed the method of reading, just like Buehl says in the beginning of the article. Basically, you do not have to read everything single letter on the books, but you can pick up the words here and there that you think that are important. Then I became much smooth reader. Again, it is not skipping the readings, but becoming smart readers.



I am here in graduate school with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I am not too sure how I got here, but all those hard work paid off in the past and now I evolved into a "okay" reader.