English speed reading
English speed reading
Speed reading is a kind of reading methods which attempt to increase rates of reading without greatly reducing comprehension or retention. Methods include chunking and eliminating subvocalization. No absolute distinct "normal" and "speed-reading" types of reading exist in practice, since all readers use some of the techniques used in speed reading. Speed reading is characterized by an analysis of trade-offs between measures of speed and comprehension, recognizing that different types of reading call for different speed and comprehension rates, and that those rates may be improved with practice. Practicing speed reading may help in the comprehension of key information. There are many programs available that teach different fundamentals, while some are better than others.
Before you start to train yourself to speed reading, it is very important to know the following factors that reduce reading speed.
1. Word-by-word reading.
2. Slow recognition and response to the material.
3. Reading aloud.
4. Incorrect eye movements including inaccuracy in placement of the page, in return sweep, in rhythm and regularity of movement, etc.
5. Needless or unconscious re-reading.
6. Bad habits of attention and concentration including simple inattention during the reading act and faulty processes of retention.
7. Lack of reading practice.
8. Fear of losing comprehension, which causes to deliberately read more slowly.
9. Habitual slow reading, in which the person cannot read faster because he or she has always read slowly.
10. Poor evaluation of which aspects are important and which are unimportant.
11. The effort to remember everything rather than to remember selectively.
Be knowing the above factors, you should keep the following in your mind:
1. Get rid of the habit of reading out words as you read. If you sound out words in your throat or whisper them, your reading rate is slowed considerably. You should be able to read most materials at least two or three times faster silently than orally, because you can get meaning from phrases without reading each word individually. If you are aware of sounding or "hearing" words as you read, try to concentrate on key words and meaningful ideas as you force yourself to read faster.
2. Avoid rereading. The average student reading at 250 words per minute regresses or rereads about 20 times per page. Rereading words and phrases is a habit which will slow your reading speed down to a snail's pace. Usually, it is unnecessary to reread words, for the ideas you want are explained and elaborated more fully later. Furthermore, the slowest reader usually regresses most frequently. Because he reads slowly, his mind has time to wander and his rereading reflects both his inability to concentrate and his lack of confidence in his comprehension skills.
3. Widen your eye-span. This will help you read more than one word at a glance. Since written material is less meaningful if read word by word, this will help you learn to read by phrases or thought units.
4. Adjust reading speed depending on the material. Often, we must trade off comprehension for speed, so an important part of increasing reading speed is deciding how thoroughly you need to comprehend a particular piece of writing. So before you even start reading, decide how fast you intend to go. If you're reading a newspaper article, chances are you just want to get the main ideas, and you can skim through the passages quite rapidly. If, however, you're reading a mathematics textbook and you need to fully understand the material, you do not want to rush.
5. Read with your hand or something like a pen. Smooth, consistent eye motion is essential to speed reading. You can maximize your eyes' efficiency by using your hand to guide them. One such method is to simply draw your hand down each page as you read. You can also brush your hand under each line you read, as if you are brushing dust off the lines. Your eyes instinctively follow motion, and the movement of your hand serves to keep your eyes moving constantly forward. Note, however, that many speed reading instruction books warn off using a tracking member in speed reading as it inhibits the process.
6. Another way to improve your reading speed is to focus on the key words in the sentences. A significant amount of reading time is wasted on conjunctions, prepositions, or articles (i.e. a, an, the, but, and, or, nor, but, etc.).
7. Practice and push yourself. While you may see some gains in speed the moment you start using these tips, speed reading is a skill that requires a lot of practice. Always push yourself to your comfort level and beyond - if you end up having to reread a section, it's not a big deal. Keep practicing regularly.
8. Time yourself regularly. After a week or so of practice, time yourself as in step two. Do this regularly thereafter, and keep track of your improvement. Don't forget to pat yourself on the back every time your reading speed increases.
In conclusion, the key to the successful speed read is Practice, Practice, and Practice. The best way to improve your reading speed is to practice reading.
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