Does Speed-reading Work?

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#1 11 April, 2012 - 13:33
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Does Speed-reading Work?


This is interesting:
How can you learn to speed-read without decreasing comprehension?

He says, "you can't".

The book reads:

Yet researchers have found that none of these courses boost people's reading speeds with out decreasing their reading comprehension (Carver, 1987).

What do you think?

This is also related to speed reading:
Does your posture affect your reading ability?

7 August, 2012 - 15:22
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I read that exact same source! It's been fuelling all sorts of doubts in whether I should spend time training this skill

I'm currently in the middle of Tony Buzan's book on it. It seems to make more outlandish claims than supported facts. I'm doing his exercises now. I have an above average reading speed ( 350 wpm or so) with about 80-90% comprehension. This increases to about 400-500 wpm but comprehension drops to about 40-50%, so I'm not convinced. It is possible, like many other things in life, that the rewards will become evident much later on, but as a person with very limited time, I am a bit impatient and I don't want to waste my time on something that may not work.

Also speed reading hasn't really been tested for varying difficulties of topics. For example, I read my Anatomy textbooks far slower than I would read a fiction novel or any humanities non-fiction book.

15 August, 2012 - 06:00
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Hi guys, this thread has been dead for a while. What is the general concensus on speed reading? I seem to find mixed reviews all over the internet.

15 August, 2012 - 15:25
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Same as you i ma reading thé buzan book and à bit sceptical... I hope I will find some extra motivation if it worked for you !

15 August, 2012 - 15:43
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I don't care about the consensus. The general consensus does not practice these techniques. That is why you will find mixed reviews on the internet. At some point one needs to stop reading about a certain technique and just start practicing it. I can vouch for speed reading. It has worked wonders on me.

I also don't understand why people are skeptical about something while reading about it. Try and Google 'Suspension of disbelief'.
If I told you it works great and Tony Buzans book is fantastic, would you continue reading it?

Read this for inspiration:
http://mt.artofmemory.com/forums/recommended-speed-reading-books-723.htm...

17 August, 2012 - 14:41
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Alright well then I'll take your word for it. My disbelief comes from the fact that I've tried it for a couple of weeks and my reading speed has improved but my comprehension has gone down the drain really ( to about 40% or less). All those cliches about "read slower to understand" actually help me improve comprehension. I started out above average anyway at around 320 wpm with about 70-80% comprehension.

Maybe it was the approach of Buzan's book. I'm now trying "breakthrough rapid reading" by Peter Kump who seems to be far more wise. He understands that there are different types of text with different difficulties, and so I'm going to try his method.

1 September, 2012 - 00:21
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Any results?

3 September, 2012 - 07:06
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Thanks for the tip Alf. I was starting to read Buzan's book and after reading Moonwalking with Einstein I already had a bad premonition of this exceedingly successful man. I will try the book you mention as I have also read anatomy textbooks and I am convinced no such speed reading to the tune of 1000 wpm could ever be accomplished.

9 September, 2012 - 13:09
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People used to think it was impossible to run a mile in under 4 minutes.

9 September, 2012 - 13:50
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I'm still doing speed reading so I can't really comment that much on success - I can simply tell you about my progress so far. My reading speed has gone up to 500wpm, but the problem with Kump's book is that he simply tells you to use your own material to perform exercises and then asks you to test yourself on the material, as opposed to Buzan providing his own passages and subsequent questions. This means that I can't really accurately gage my comprehension.

From a subjective standpoint, I would say that my reading speed has increased without much decrease in comprehension, so I'm feeling moderately encouraged to continue. I shall post more about this as my speed hopefully increases.

With regards to outlandish claims in speed reading books:I know the world record for speed reading is in the 1000s ( 4000 or so?) but I would argue that the difficulty of material that they read is not that high. They can claim 67% comprehension at the highest levels, but this may be pure fiction novels. When it comes to technical pure science books, I doubt anyone could read beyond 1000wpm. My speed reading training is primarily to read science books more quickly.

Geoff, I completely agree that human belief in possibilities can be short sighted, but what a lot of books claim is that you too could reach a 4000wpm speed without ANY decrease in comprehension. That would be equivalent to somebody saying you could run the mile in a mere 20 seconds. A 20 second mile could be safely said to be impossible.

What should be said is that your reading speed can be increased up to a certain level and for certain types of text more than others. They should say that you can only SKIM at 4000wpm, not fully understand it.

9 September, 2012 - 17:24
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A 20 second mile is more random than 4000 wpm of a textbook.
There are 1760 meters in a mile, Usain Bolt ran 100m in 9.53 (?) seconds. At his speed, that's a ~168 second mile, or 2:48. A 2:48 mile is fairly impossible, I think. At least in any of our lifetimes.

12 September, 2012 - 04:44
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I don't literally mean a 20 second mile so you don't need to work out proportions or ratios. That was just an example to prove the point that certain goals even though the seem far away are achievable and some goals we can, with some certainty, say will never be achieved. A claim of 6000wpm with full comprehension and using a difficult text is in my opinion unachievable.

12 September, 2012 - 17:45
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Speed reading is pure nonsense, as it all depends on what it is you are reading.

In my domain, I may need several hours to understand (and hence read) a couple of lines...

Try reading (and understanding) this seminal paper by René Thom and tell me what speed you achieve ;-)
http://www.google.fr/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CGIQF...

Pleas note that the elegance of this paper is that René Thom manages to write complete paragraphs in pure English, which unfortunately does not always make them any easier to understand...

On the contrary, there are novels with long descriptions that don't bring any information. When this happens, I can skim through the text, reading only a couple of words per line, or maybe one word every other line until I spot something interesting again.

And then, there are some books that are simply devoid of contents.

Those I can read in an instant...

P.

22 September, 2012 - 16:31
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I just completed a book by Dr. Stanley D. Frank called Remember Everything You Read, and I must say it was good. It teaches the Evelyn Wood speed reading system. I would recommend it.

Although it is a book about speed reading, even the title drives home the point that the goal is not just to read faster, but to comprehend and retain what you read.

According to the book, the way most of us read is called "linear subvocal reading." We scan a line of text from left to right and sound out the words in our heads. Some people even mouth the words.

Why do we read this way? The book doesn't speculate, but I would venture a guess: It is an artifact of being taught to read phonetically. We are taught to "sound the words out" from the very start of our careers as readers, and we never stop.

Linear subvocal reading is useful. You should keep it as a tool in your reading tool chest. Use it for poetry. In poetry the sounds words make adds to the pleasure of reading and contributes to the meaning of the work. Use it any time you want to slow things down and savor or deeply analyze the exact words, the exact grammar, the exact construction of a passage.

But linear subvocal reading is obviously inefficient. It is limited by the speed of your mental voice, and it activates parts of your brain that should be unnecessary for reading. You are translating text into imaginary sounds, then translating the sounds into meaning, then assembling those meanings into bigger ideas.

The meaning-processing center of your brain is faster than your mental voice, so your brain gets bored and starts looking for other input. You get easily distracted. You often have to re-read passages over and over, even if the ideas in them are not particularly challenging.

If the forest is the overall meaning of a passage, and the trees are the words used to assemble that meaning, linear subvocal reading can lose the forest for the trees.

So, one of the surprising points made by this book is that reading slowly can actually hurt comprehension! And I believe this is true.

Don't read phonetically. You don't need to sound the words out in your head to make sense of them. Instead, read as if the words on the page were hieroglyphics. Translate them directly into their meaning. "Accept visual, as opposed to auditory, reassurance as you read." (p69)

The Evelyn Wood approach also involves hand motions on the page while you read. The motions guide your eyes and help you resist regressing over material you've already read (and actually understood just fine the first time). It also tries to teach you to read vertically instead of linearly, and to read in layers.

The layers thing is very interesting. You don't just look at the text once. First you get an overview, then a preview, THEN you read it, then you do a post-view, and finally you do a review. This all happens quite quickly, and in my experience (albeit limited, so far) it works beautifully. You read faster, yes. But more importantly, your comprehension and retention goes up.

The goal of reading should be to absorb the meaning out of written passages, not to engage in the exercise of sounding out the words at 250 WPM for its own sake.

Now, let me step out of cheerleader mode for a moment. I do have BIG doubts that you could increase your reading speed to 1,000 WPM or more without reducing comprehension. At this point in my implementation of these techniques, that seems impossible to me. On the other hand, it is said the Kim Peek could scan a different page of a book with each eye, skimming through the text in this way at lightning speed, and retain 90% of what he had read. By some estimates he read 10,000 words per minute.

So I'll reserve my judgment for now on what is impossible. And as for what is probable, I think it's probably true for most people that they can increase their reading speeds at least a little without sacrificing comprehension.

22 September, 2012 - 20:31
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Oceanblue wrote:

The layers thing is very interesting. You don't just look at the text once. First you get an overview, then a preview, THEN you read it, then you do a post-view, and finally you do a review. This all happens quite quickly, and in my experience (albeit limited, so far) it works beautifully. You read faster, yes. But more importantly, your comprehension and retention goes up.

That's an interesting idea... I'm going to try it.

23 September, 2012 - 02:02
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Oceanblue wrote:

(a lot of good stuff)

Great post Oceanblue, thanks.

23 September, 2012 - 04:02
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Let me insist that it all depends on the contents of the text you are reading.

I just found a great text that I gave my students for a very clear explanation of Bayes's theorem, that is behind inductive reasoning (based on probabilities) vs deductive reasoning (based on Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens).

Anyone in this forum should be concerned by sound reasoning (making sound conclusions out of facts or probabilities) so here is a bit of background to explain why understanding this article is something essential to understanding the world around us.

While deductive reasoning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deductive_reasoning ) is quite easy to understand on what can be deduced from true statements (Modus Ponens), one must only be careful on what can be deduced from false statements (Modus Tollens). Deductive Resoning is what is behind simple yet very efficient artificial intelligence techniques such as expert systems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expert_system ).

However, making deductions from probabilities and not plain true (or false) facts is very treacherous, as it is very counterintuitive. It took many centuries (until after the death of Reverend Bayes in 1763) to really understand inductive reasoning (reasoning with probabilities).

Please read and understand the first example from this very clear explanation:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=what-is-bayess-theorem-an

It shows how a test with 99% reliability applied to a patient coming from a country where 1% of the population is sick means that if the patient tests positive, there is only 50% chance that he is really sick ! This looks weird for a test with 99% reliability, doesn't it !

Worse : the VERY SAME test applied to another patient coming from a country where 0.5% of the population is sick means that a patient who tests positive has a different probability of being sick (as said in the paper, try to do it yourself: you will be puzzled by the result !)

So we are here in front of a very counter-intuitive reasoning (inductive reasoning) where the outcome of an identical test depends on who you are using the test on !

All this to say the following thing: this text explains something essential about reasoning on probabilities (which is what we all need to do in everyday life).

It is written in pure English.

Can you really understand the text while using speed-reading ?

P.

23 September, 2012 - 09:45
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Thanks for the post. Seem interesting and given the results I have found with resent techniques such as the method of Locci I'll give speed reading a whirl to see if something comes out of it.

23 September, 2012 - 09:53
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Zaphod I can't agree more. It seem that something out of these speed reading techniques is missing. There are text which must be read slow and must be reasoned heavily. Some physics books, and some anatomy books, not to mention organic chemistry and philosophy are things which simply take a while to understand after you get the image in your mind of what is being said. Some of these are simply hard images or concepts to form in the first place. I share your skepticism and am still looking for a satisfactory theory that convinces me.

23 September, 2012 - 11:30
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A big part of the audience for speed reading courses is business people / managers etc who spend a lot of time reading reports with low information content. They also don't really need to remember much of the detail of a large percentage of what they read. So speed reading really becomes speed choosing what not to read.

23 September, 2012 - 14:27
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I love the name 'Zaphod'. One of my daughters is called Zaphod. Must disagree while agreeing.

I did the E-W system back in the 70s. It worked great, right from the first class onward. This was the group known as junior- or Rapid Reading. This used Wide Underlining of the text on the page. You build up speed over time until you read as fast as you could wipe along the lines. During several early classes the other guys looked up at me and each other in amazement at how fast we were reading. I got up towards 1,000 wpm after that course. Now I know that several things were going on which were only clear later.

All we were reading was fiction. A legitimate place to be. Myself, I then read (not popular but real ) science books and slogged through them while my sister tore through romance novels one a day. I figured "She reads faster than me". At the classes they would tell us "You can't speed read maximum responsibility material." This is both true and covered their backsides.

At that time I had no understanding of the difference between light fiction, popular science, non-fiction vs math books, my current area for 30 years. It was pointed out well in an amazon review of (I think Rudin's) analysis book that if you cover more than a page a day your not really reading it. This is absolutely true. But even so I sped read my differential equations book and loved the course. The course worked great for high school since even the most serious books were school books of regrettable value.

Zaphod is right about the finiteness, I'll say 'Limit' of speed reading. But others are also right that the practice can improve your reading greatly. I might ask ask Zaphod if he ever expects to read a page of math proofs once and never again since he takes his time with it. I believe the answer would be, no. You come back to these and any other tough subject over and over again. But text in a novel or magazine is easy to speed read. You get to see everything they say, not just scans of it, but every actual word and description in detail you will remember. In books I really enjoyed I would put them down and wait till I had time to read them slowly - and enjoy them- rather than finish them in one gulp.

I met Mr. Buzan and thought he gave a great presentation. But he is, as they all are, selling something. His packaging might look new to the uninitiated but I've found it all explored elsewhere. I did like his list of mnemonics for numbers to 1000.

Speed reading will work as well as you work it. It depends on what you read and what you need to get out of it. Books on Math or science if it is worthwhile will take some time. Other stuff less so. I remember being happiest at between 600 to 700 wpm. It seemed utterly stress free but speedy. But you could not do that without continued practice. Is that a sacrifice??

Later I tried going back for a refresher in EW, a perk of the membership. All they were teaching then ( I was at college now) was reading a whole half a page at a time. I just could not catch on. Felt I had missed a class or five. I still use the wide underlining method when I start reading a textbook then slow down when I feel like it.

If you are a great snob about reading books then don't waste your time reading books. Go watch a movie or talk on the phone.

If you ping me privately I can go into detail on the speeding up routine we used to do, which still works!

P

23 September, 2012 - 16:01
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Hi Plunger,

What I tried to say is that it all depends on what you are reading.

Speed-reading poetry does not make much more sense than speed-reading philosophy.

For me, speed-reading is wonderful for lower contents texts, like e-mails for instance, where it is possible to scan through a paragraph by only reading key words.

In such low-contents written material, the key to speed-reading is to accept to not read all words of a line or lines of a paragraph.

Surprisingly enough, your mind is very capable of reconstructing what you didn't read, exactly like Kanisza triangles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanizsa_triangle )
figure_12_1_turner2.png

I sometimes speed-read whole books by going through them several pages at a time. Often, you get the gist of what is happening in a chapter by scanning through a few pages only. Typically, one can reconnect things together quite well, and deduce enough to reconstitute what has happened in the pages that were skipped.

I practised this for many years by reading over somebody else's shoulder in the underground, for instance, when you only have access to even pages if you're sitting to the right of a reader... And then, because you are farther away than is comfortable, you need to speed-read to have finished the page before the reader (who reads in much better angle and distance conditions) finishes the page, and do so while being bothered by a thumb that is holding the book...

Very good training for speed-reading.

But of course, it only works for novels or similar low contents books, but then, why would one waste precious time reading books that are void from contents ?

I clearly remember that when the book "The City of Joy" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Joy ) came out in the eighties. Many people read it in the underground, so when I peeped over people's shoulders, I always read a different part of the book, but was able to reconnect the different pieces of the jig-saw puzzle.

Now, this has become a habit, and my wife is always puzzled when she sees me take a book (typically one of the novels she is reading) and go through it by speed reading random pages. In fact, this is now how I enjoy reading novels. I like reading random pages and mentally reconstructing the plot.

P.

28 September, 2012 - 11:22
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Earlier in this thread I posted a mostly positive message about speed reading, having just finished a book on the Evelyn Wood technique that I thought was good.

Since then I've done some research. What I found was intriguing, so I updated and expanded my post. I decided not to put the result here because it's way too long for a forum post, but if you're interested you can read it on my blog.

In a nutshell: What the Ph.D.s are saying doesn't jive with what the speed reading programs are saying.

Normally I would side with the Ph.D.s...

But it seems like not all of the speed reading programs can be scams. There is a large amount of anecdotal evidence suggesting that speed reading while maintaining good comprehension is possible.

And the scientific studies -- at least the ones I've been able to read -- are not conclusive. In fact, there don't seem to be many recent studies of the relationship between reading speed and comprehension.

So I thought, Hey wait a second. There's a group of people over at mnemotechnics.org interested in this very topic. And they seem like particularly intelligent, curious, friendly victims folks. What is stopping us from doing a bit of science ourselves? Nothing!

I've put together a speed reading test. I'd be very interested to get a few people to take the test.

Would you be willing to act as guinea pig for a bit of homespun scientific research?

See the PDF attached to this post. Follow the instructions. When you're done, post all of your results from the last page on this thread.

I'm going to spring the test on a slew of my poor innocent unsuspecting family members, and I'll share their results here.

Thanks :)

30 September, 2012 - 01:39
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Hi,

I read several speed reading book from Buzan to Scheele and try some cumputer program to improve like "Reading Trainer" for iphone/ipad ..

I understand this:

1) I read too fast the first time and I need to slow to remember better if I read just one time!
2) I can read a second time ( and more) very faster to remember ...
3) I shall scan all the book to eliminate (negate garbage information) useless information ( like we do with the information in our sense).

In other worlds if I read fast several time I remember better than slow one time.

:-)

30 September, 2012 - 02:55
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2 years ago I've tried a speed reading method for 2 months ("Breakthrough speed reading") and didn't see real improvements. Derren Brown (UK magician, he has been very interested in self development, his book "Tricks of the mind" is a must have) enrolled in a speed reading symposium/class/whatever, and concluded : "It's just learning to skim". And skimming is a very valuable ability indeed, but it's not "reading more", it is "getting more information in the same time".

If you don't consciously read words, it's just false that you have read them, and there is no reasonable reason why information should pass. Inconscious perception (subliminal priming, for example) does affect the brain... for 200 milliseconds. After 200 ms, there is no way a subconsciously read word can affect you.

30 September, 2012 - 11:59
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With respect to Tukulti; You have the needed insight but if your typing is anything like your reading then you would benefit from an effort to improve your vocabulary. The easiest way to do this of course is to read a wider variety of sources. If English is your second language then you have it all over me since I'm not good at any other. No speed reading I've heard of involves crossing out "garbage" reading. Scanning is only a method of the briefest review.

As for Timothee ; I can't be sure you are still quoting from Derrik Brown in your second paragraph. (Inconscious,?) The claims about the number of milliseconds needed for "subliminal" anything sound like familiar bunk. (I'm quite sure I can read/remember a word in under 200 ms: that is 0.2 seconds. Depends on the word but there's lots of them.) Like ALL the things in magic, none of it is really magic. It can seem that it must be when seeing the results of years of practice of a particular method. There is no Best method for one and all, just one's that work for most. This is what we get in school.

I'm sure you would have a different experience in speed reading if you had a go at it yourself. If this thread, or site, has any weight it is in the Try It Yourself department. Otherwise we are just saying "My expert can beat up your expert." I, for one, am tired of a mailbox full of responses all of the "Oh Yeah?!" variety. With respect to all of them, "Yeah!"

PlungerMan

30 September, 2012 - 12:12
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Plungerman wrote:

With respect to Tukulti; You have the needed insight but if your typing is anything like your reading then you would benefit from an effort to improve your vocabulary. The easiest way to do this of course is to read a wider variety of sources. If English is your second language then you have it all over me since I'm not good at any other. No speed reading I've heard of involves crossing out "garbage" reading. Scanning is only a method of the briefest review.

As for Timothee ; I can't be sure you are still quoting from Derrik Brown in your second paragraph. (Inconscious,?) The claims about the number of milliseconds needed for "subliminal" anything sound like familiar bunk. (I'm quite sure I can read/remember a word in under 200 ms: that is 0.2 seconds. Depends on the word but there's lots of them.) Like ALL the things in magic, none of it is really magic. It can seem that it must be when seeing the results of years of practice of a particular method. There is no Best method for one and all, just one's that work for most. This is what we get in school.

I'm sure you would have a different experience in speed reading if you had a go at it yourself. If this thread, or site, has any weight it is in the Try It Yourself department. Otherwise we are just saying "My expert can beat up your expert." I, for one, am tired of a mailbox full of responses all of the "Oh Yeah?!" variety. With respect to all of them, "Yeah!"

PlungerMan

Subliminal presentation is, if I remember well, under 30 ms (and after you need a mask). But my point was not about reading time, it was that a subliminaly presented word can influence your decisions in the next 200 milliseconds or so (and influence decision = you reply faster to certain tasks). What I wanted to say is that if you don't consciously read, it's the same as if you don't read at all.
I cite Derren Brown because this guy tested so much things, shares his experiences, made me discover mnemonics, and is kind of a genius, he revolutionised mentalism. And his shows are freaking good.

And I had a go at speed reading : for me, it was a waste of time.

30 September, 2012 - 12:16
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great discussion! i always wanted to do a speed reading program when i was a kid but never had the chance. i have always had a reading problem and i used to be an avid reader as a kid not so much now only if the book interests me. i always had a hard time reading and comprehending what i read got alright scores on homework/test.

i get bored reading the entire sentence or textbook yea i know sounds weird. someone told me (i know this person) that in george washington's time, everybody read at a masters level which i was shocked! so, if they wanted to fight about something, they knew exactly what they were talking about and can back up their facts. you know, reading would be more fun if you were shown that it is fun and exciting. it always took me forever to finish reading a book because i always put it off...

english is my first language and still have issues with it! i took many different english classes and it did improve somewhat in college but i was still making C's i finally got a B in eng102. i always wanted to be a fast reader but when i was timed on something i was reading, it was too late and my scores were low then got yelled at by teachers. if anyone has info or any more tips let me on reading better

30 September, 2012 - 14:02
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ladytigger wrote:

if anyone has info or any more tips let me on reading better

For improving reading, the best activity is probably reading as much as possible. The quality of the reading experience is probably more important than quantity.

Maybe try memorizing poetry. I've found that I understand English much better after reciting poems in my head almost every day for a couple of years. Also, I can understand archaic forms of English better after memorizing some poems by older writers like Shakespeare, Milton, and Chapman.

Sonnets are a good place to start, because they aren't very long.

1 October, 2012 - 01:04
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Thanks Plungerman :-)

I think there is difference in speed reading from first language and second language and also there is a difference from reading to writing to speaking.

I am Italian and usually read and listen well in English but I am really bad in writing (more with a iPad) and speak, no read exercise improve my writing or speaking, I improve just my reading !

I need to exercise in writing and speaking to improve them !

As you know the "first language" is coded in the operational memory in the first years of life and is a really unconscious process running really fast and doesn't need many cognitive resource.

Second language instead need many conscious cognitive resource slowing the language process !

So I reformulate the question "Does Speed-reading Work" for First, Second, Writing, Speaking ?

I found useful three fast or more reading (repetita juvant - repeating does good) than a one slow read in my first language:

1) the first read is very fast for the index for understand the framework of the book, and find what garbage to negate.
2) the second read is for the core of the book to understand.
3) the subsequent reading is to remember better the words to avoid the Tip of the tongue phenomenon.

Here some useful links to Neurolinguistic
Neurolinguistics of Bilingualism
http://books.google.it/books/about/Neurolinguistics_of_Bilingualism.html...

Neurolinguistic and follow-up study of an unusual pattern of recovery from bilingual subcortical aphasia
http://www.francofabbro.it/files/brain-1996-aglioti-et-al.pdf

8 October, 2013 - 23:17
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Speed Reading Powerful Discovery. OMG I can't believe it.

Hi everyone, I've never taken speed-reading seriously, I was more into Paul Scheeles' photoreading whole mind system thing. I didn't achieve the photoreading he promised, but I haven't given up.

I came across a guy called Howard Berg who's the worlds fastest reader. I was impressed and my dream is to beat him. Even if I don't set a new record but I MUST achieve flipping a page in 1 or 2 seconds with at least 95% understanding.

Have you ever played the guitar? Do you sing in your shower? Or in your cousin's car?

If you are a beginner guitar learner, do you think you can play the guitar perfectly and sing along on your first day or week of playing the guitar? If YES, then I want you to adopt me because you're a genius. If NO, then you're like everybody else.

Even the best guitar player cannot sing along a song he he's not familiar with, but can play along . If you want to sing and play the guitar at the same time, then you need to MASTER how to play the guitar on it's own and also MASTER how to sing that particular song on it's own. Now, join both playing and singing and you'll get Jimi Hendrix. Only singing, you'll get Rihanna. and only guitars you'll get David Taub. a guitar teacher.

Do you want to sing good? Or do you want to sing good and play good at the same time?
[Translation]
Do you want to read fast? Or do you want to read fast and understand well at the same time?

You see while people don't succeed with speed reading. They want to do two different things they haven't mastered at the same time, which is read-fast and understand well.

No musician can do that, and no ordinary reader can do that either, unless, you're 'sent from heaven' like Keyshia Cole.

Don't give up, here is the good news:
News1: TAKE A MONTH OUT JUST TO READ A 200 OR 300 PAGE BOOOK WITHOUT COMPREHENSION IN MIND IN AN HOUR OR LESS EVERYDAY.

The things you need are:
-- Your finger/pointer/pen.
-- A metronome. (I use a ticking wall clock in my room. I don't even need to touch it because it's always on)
-- Your brain
-- A book (fictional or Non fictional)
-- A timer. It can be your phone or your metronome.

News2: NEVER REGRESS, BLUR YOUR EYES SLIGHTLY, DON'T WORRY ABOUT NEW AND DIFFUCULT WORDS, JUST KEEP GOING, NO TURNING BACK, NO STOPPING, NO THINKING.

Explanations

-- Never try to look back because you mistakenly skipped a line or you saw something funny and interesting above the line you're on. You shouldn't look back because the aim of this exercise is NEVER to COMPREHEND anything, but familiarize yourself with the process.

-- Blur your eyes. This is a good trick to use. It reduces sub-vocalization to 5% for me, because my chatterbox and conscious mind couldn't see the words properly, but my peripheral vision and subconcious mind does, which is more important. I've used EyeQ program which has helped me in expanding my peripheral vision. I can blur my eye anyhow and at any amount of minutes I want.
--Your blurred eyes should subtly follow the movement of your finger/pointer moving through every line.
-- Never leave your hand/pointer, else you'll lose contro. If you're feeling like a prop, then you can remove your hand.

-- Don't worry about new or difficult words you come across. Just ignore them, when you gain some speed, then you begin to put those new words into consideration. If you have a recorder or a computer software (like Audacity) that can record for an hour and you're at home, then switch it on throughout the session. When you come across a new word you should either pronounce it fast or divide it into two and spell it fast while your hand is still moving to the the ticking clock/metronome.

--- Just keep going, no turning back, never stop*(but only when turning a page) and no thinking, but don't be overwhelmed, it'll soon become second nature. THIS IS A MILITARY TRAINING. If you don't see it as a military training, then I doubt you'll make it through.

Become numb during the process. Do it nonchalantly but with precision and a military minded mind. This will trick your mind to relax and enjoy the flow of words.

Just image, we only have only 26 letters word and 0-9 digits in English, yet these authors are making our lives miserable by rearranging the letters and digits to exploit us. It's sad, but true. -:) All we have to do is master the puzzle and give them a run for their money.

Master the 26 letters and 0-9 digits in different forms, sounds and shapes, and you'll be ahead of the pop club.

Summary and ad-lib:
Remember our number 1 priority of this exercise is to see every word on a line fast in 1 second with a blurred eye that oversees the entire section or page, but never pay attention to comprehending it. If you find yourself trying to understand a line or a page, then you should start over or never do it again.

For beginners only do a line per tick of the clock. Make sure your clock/metronome is sounding out loud - you won't complain that you aren't understanding, will you? I guess not.
Do a line per second for a week, then upgrade to 2 lines for the next week, 4 lines the third week and 10 lines for the last week of this exercise.

If you're a student or an avid reader you'll probably violate this exercise because you'll want to read and understand to pass your exams or to enjoy it, which will take you back to reading word for word and you'll complain that speed reading either doesn't work or it reduces comprehension.

As long as you blur your eyes you'll see the entire page or at least half of the page.

You can incorporate page numbers if you feel comfortable, as in using your number system.

Mine is musician based, because I'm one of them.
Lets go.

Page1: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by T.I. the American rapper because he's my #1

Page2: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by Ne-Yo the American singer because he's my #2

Page3: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by M.I the Nigerian rapper because he's my #3

Page4: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by Riya the Japanese singer because she's my #4

Page5: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by Lia the Japanese singer because she's my #5

Page6: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by Joe the American singer because he's my #6

Page7: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by Kay the Canadian singer because she's my #7

Page8: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by Faye the Swedish singer because she's my #8

Page9: I'm reading it but I pretend it's been read by BoA the S.Korean singer because she's my #9

And do so...
So, if I want to recall things on page 1 I'll ask myself what was T.I. doing? Then it'll trigger all the things I read on his behalf.

My 00-99 number system uses only an [æ] sound in the middle and they always begin with my second choice consonant because my 3, 4 and 5 digits systems use the first choice consonants.

Using the same sound helps me stay organized and it takes me less than a second to recall them. It's just like someone saying the name OBAMA and the image appears before finishing the pronuncitiaton of the name/number.

From (0-9) and it's corresponding first choice and second choice.
First choice: [s,t,n,m,r,l,j,k,f,b]
Sec. choice: [z,d,h,w,y,g,sh,q,v,p]
Both choices end with: [z,d,n,m,r,l,sh,k,f,p]
So, 15 will be Dal Not Tal, because Tal = 195 while Dal 15.

Confused?

DICTIONARIES THAT WILL HELP

Remember, the more VOCABULARY you have in your arsenal the faster you'll master speed reading and that's why I have my sound dictionary where every word belongs to a group, and every group of words-by-sound has a leader and those leaders are the trigger words for any word of the group members

So, you don't need to remember every word in the dictionary but their leaders.
Example: Bag is the leader of all words that begin with the sound [bæg] 'bag' despite the spelling and is the leader of the following words:  bagger, baggy, baggage, bagdad etc, but not bagle. 

Get an image of a HUMAN BEING called Bag NOT an object. If you have an object it should be a supporting image, not the main leader. A human should be the leader. Just a single name. Bag as a name sounds funny, but check on twitter and you'll get the names and images. Use the aliase not their main name.
Example: Lets say Jack Mabag uses @Bag_572 as his alias, then you don't need to remember his full name or the digits on his name but the BAG on his name, which becomes the only name for him. You can remember any one, but the smaller the better. 

A MUST have dictionary is 'TheSages Dictionary and Thesauraus' (it's free) and it'll enable you to search anything by sounds either by perfect rhymes,  intial vowel rhymes, initial consonant rhymes, initial vowel cluster rhymes, middle vowel rhymes, middle consonant cluster rhymes, last vowel rhymes, last vowel cluster rhymes, last consonant rhymes, last consonant cluster rhymes and so on. 

And you should also download PhoTransEdit (it's free) and it's job is to transcribe millions of words fast. And you can also search for rhymes, alliterations and assonances. It doesn't have definitions for them like TheSages Dictionary.

Drop your comments.

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