How do I improve my reading speed? What exactly is Speed Reading?
Questions more and more readers are asking due to the ever-increasing popularity of the term “Speed Reading”.
So what does it mean to speed read?
Speed reading can be defined by much more than just reading and at a fast pace. With traditional reading, most of us read between 200-250 wpm. The national average reading speed for adults is 300 wpm. Successful Speed Reading, however, allows you to exceed the national average by reading more words per minute WITHOUT sacrificing comprehension and retention of content.
In traditional Western learning, elementary school teachers instruct you to read one word at a time, sounding out each letter or syllable to reinforce enunciation. Even if you didn’t read out loud, you may have vocalized in your head, a strategy that, while helping you pronounce words and complete reading assignments successfully, can be one of the leading causing of slower reading for adults. Speed Reading techniques allow you to disengage from these types of unconscious reading habits and introduces new practices that can change the way you view and process reading materials.
Lets take a look at some of the main causes of slow reading…
Causes of Slow Reading
Before you begin your lessons in how to read faster or “speed read”, it is important that you understand the primary factors that contribute to slow reading. As you recognize and learn the finer details of these causes, you can resolve to avoid them as you strive to become a proficient and confident speed reader.
The primary causes of slow reading include:
- Poor Memory: Poor memory refers to being unable to remember what you have just read. As soon as you complete a paragraph, or even a full sentence, you cannot recall its content.
- Regression: Regression involves reading the same sentence or sentences over and over again. It is linked with poor memory and occurs typically because you are not paying attention or you cannot remember what you just read.
- Sub-vocalization: Sub-vocalization refers to sounding out words as you read them and vocalizing them in your head. This is probably the most common cause of slow reading.
- Single Word Focus: Single Word Focus describes reading one word at a time, never allowing your eyes to focus on words in front of the one on which you are focused. It most often stems from early reading lessons when you were sounding out words and figuring out what they meant.
- Erratic Eye Movement: Unlike Single Word Focus, Erratic Eye Movement refers to when a reader’s eyes wander to various (and random) areas of a page instead of on the words/lines that they are reading. It can often be caused by a lack of focus or coordination difficulty.
- Word Order Reversal: Word Order Reversal also known as “Inversion” involves the unintentional mixing up of word order when reading. Word Order Reversal happens most commonly with subjects and verbs.
- Low Concentration Levels: Low Concentration Levels more often than not will lead to lower comprehension rates. Daydreaming, mental or physical fatigue are often its biggest contributors, though a general lack of interest in the subject matter can also be a factor.
Now let’s explore some of the Speed Reading Techniques used to overcome slow reading and help you learn how to read faster today!!