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Speed reading

An insight into speed reading including it's history, terms, methods, pros and cons.

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Speed reading

  2. 2. Outline  Introduction (history, terms, wpm)  Causes of slow reading  Why and how to speed read  Speed reading concepts and methods  How to improve your speed reading  When to speed read  Speed reading criticism  Reference
  3. 3. Introduction Jeremy is reaching information overload. He has to present a report to his manager, tomorrow at noon but he's got a stack of information to read through, and the clock is ticking. •Speed reading helps you absorb information quickly and effectively. •We'll also consider the pros and cons of speed reading. •When it is appropriate to use, and the effects that it can have on understanding.
  4. 4. History… •Evelyn Nielsen Wood was one of the pioneers of speed reading. •She claimed that she could read up to 2,700 wpm if she swept a finger along the line as she read. •A researcher and schoolteacher, she was committed to understanding why some people were naturally faster at reading and tried to force herself to read very quickly.
  5. 5. History •In 1958, while brushing off the pages of a book she had thrown down in despair, •she discovered that the sweeping motion of her hand across the page caught the attention of her eyes. •And helped them move more smoothly across the page. She then used the hand as a pacer.
  6. 6. Terms… Speed reading •It is the process of rapidly recognizing and absorbing phrases or sentences on a page all at once, rather than identifying individual words. •It is any of several techniques used to improve one's ability to read quickly and involves chunking and minimizing subvocalization.
  7. 7. Terms… Chunking •Dad called to tell you the security code to their house as he and mum are away for the weekend and you’re meant to house sit. •You wrote it on a sheet of paper which flew out the window on the highway. •But as dad was reciting the code (6527852389), you mentally grouped the long strings of digits into smaller, easier to remember chunks of information. •652, 785, 2389 is much easier to remember. Can you give another example? •A process by which individual pieces of information are bound together into a meaningful whole.
  8. 8. Terms Subvocalization •Also known as auditory reassurance. •Is a very common habit among readers which involves saying words in your head while reading. •Its one of the main reasons why people read slowly and have trouble improving their reading speed
  9. 9. Calculating words per minute (wpm) Assuming you read a passage of 1000 words in 2 minutes and 20 seconds. •Change the time to seconds = 140 seconds. •Divide the 1000 by 140 = 7.14 •Multiply by 60 seconds = 428.57 •Answer is 429 wpm.
  10. 10. Assess your results Wpm Status Less than 120 Poor or slow 121-180 Below average 181-240 average 241-350 College level if good retention 351-500 Above average 501-1000 Greater than 1000 Superior genius
  11. 11. Causes of slow reading… •Word by word reading. •Slow perceptual reaction time i.e. slowness of recognition. •Vocalization – habitual or for comprehension. •Inefficient eye movements. •Regression i.e. the need to skip back and re-read sentences •Faulty habits of attention concentration.
  12. 12. Causes of slow reading •Lack of practice in reading especially large amounts. •Fear of losing comprehension. •Habitual slow reading. •Poor evaluation of which aspects are important and those not. •The effort to remember everything rather than to remember selectively
  13. 13. Why speed read?... Speed reading is the answer to today’s pressing challenge of doing more work in less time. Speed reading is good because rapid reading… •Saves time: Have time to complete our routine reading like newspaper or magazine and have time for other literature/documents. •Greater efficiency: To better cope with the demands of modern business to become an efficient employee.
  14. 14. Why speed read? •Broadens your horizon: By putting within our reach a greater range or variety of information. •Effective speaking: enables one to gather speedily the material needed for public speaking or conversation. •Current: Keeps you up to date with developments in one’s field. •Mental tonic: brushing up our knowledge, exercising our intellect and keeping us mentally on our toes. •Others: Helps in preparing for exams and helps improve our understanding.
  15. 15. How to Speed Read •Focus on blocks of words rather than on individual ones. •Do this by relaxing your face and "softening" or expanding your gaze on the page, so that you stop seeing words as single, distinct units. •As you practice this, your eyes will skip faster across the page. • Avoid pronouncing and "hearing" each word in your head as you read it, a process known as as "sub- vocalization.“ • Instead, you "skim" lines or groups of words, as you can understand words more quickly than you can say them.
  16. 16. Speed reading concepts… They include skimming, scanning and meta guiding: Skimming: •Reading a text quickly to get a general idea of meaning. •When reading an essay, it can mean reading the beginning and ending for summary information. •Or the first sentence of each paragraph to quickly determine whether to seek still more detail, as determined by the purpose of the reading.
  17. 17. Speed reading concepts… •Conducted at a higher rate (700 wpm and above) than normal reading for comprehension (around 200–230 wpm). •Drawback is lower comprehension for information rich material. Scanning •Reading in order to get specific information. •is the process where one actively looks for information using a mind map formed from skimming.
  18. 18. Speed reading concepts •A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is hierarchical and shows relationships among pieces of the whole. Meta guiding •is the visual guiding of the eye using a finger or pointer, such as a pen, in order for the eye to move faster along the length of a passage of text.
  19. 19. Speed Reading Methods: 1. The Pointer Method •This became known as the Pointer method, and is also sometimes called "hand pacing" or "meta guiding.“ •Teacher Evelyn Wood claimed that she could read up to 2,700 wpm if she swept a finger along the line as she read. •Holding a card under each line and drawing it down the page as you read works just as well.
  20. 20. Speed Reading Methods: 2. The Tracker-and-Pacer Method… •This is a variant of the Pointer method where you hold a pen, with its cap still on, and underline or track each line as you read it, keeping your eye above the tip of the pen. •Whether you actually underline the words is your choice. •This will help to increase the pace at which you take in each line, and improve your focus on the words.
  21. 21. Speed Reading Methods: 2. The Tracker-and-Pacer Method •Try to spend no more than one second on each line and then increase your speed with each subsequent page. •You will probably find that you retain very little information at first, but, as you train your brain and you become more comfortable with the technique, your comprehension should improve. Note: An advantage of the pointer and tracker-and-pacer methods is that they should reduce "regression” – a hindrance to speed reading.
  22. 22. Speed Reading Methods: 3. The Scanning (or Previewing) Method •It involves moving your eyes quickly down the page – often down the center – and identifying specific words and phrases as you go. •These can be key sentences (often the first sentence of each paragraph), names, numbers, or trigger words and ideas. •Learning to expand your peripheral vision can help with this. •You won't read every word, but your eye will land on what is important to allow you to grasp the basic idea. •It may be helpful to use a mind map to organize the information you take in.
  23. 23. How to improve your speed reading… •Avoid distractions: Create an environment where there are as few interruptions and distractions as possible, to allow you to focus fully on the words in front of you. •Go easy: Read an uncomplicated novel or a simple online article to get a feel for which technique is going to work best for you. Gauge how much you've remembered or understood, and set a timer to see how much faster you are now reading.
  24. 24. How to improve your speed reading… •Cover words that you've already read. This helps you to stop your eyes flitting back to earlier words and slowing down your reading. •Know what you want from the text. This can be useful if you are using the skimming method, as it primes you to pay attention when you see relevant words, sentences or phrases. You can then slow down at these points, or circle them for emphasis, but otherwise move across the page quickly.
  25. 25. How to Improve Your Speed Reading •Benchmark your progress. This way you can tell whether your practice is paying off. There are many free speed reading assessments online, such as at •Practice, practice, practice. You have to practice speed reading to get good at it. The more you train yourself, the more natural it will feel.
  26. 26. Re-cap of Key Points •There are different techniques that you can use to improve your reading speed. •All of them involve skimming a page rather than "sub-vocalizing" each word as you were likely taught at school. •Excellent speed reading involves practice and retraining yourself, as well as learning to focus more on what is in front of you and avoiding distractions. •But it is important to strike the right balance between speed and comprehension. •Sometimes speed reading is not appropriate or helpful.
  27. 27. When to Speed Read… Since speed reading is not desirable in all cases, when do we do it? •Effective speed reading is a balance between pace and comprehension. •The faster you read, the less information you take in, particularly when it comes to remembering detail. •So, speed reading is clearly not the answer if you're reading a complex technical document.
  28. 28. When to Speed Read •However when you need to understand only the basic arguments or conclusions being presented, though, using a speed reading technique can work. •This may also be the case if you intend to go back and re-read something more slowly when you're less busy. •A study suggested that skimming a text can improve your comprehension the second time around.
  29. 29. Speed reading criticism… •So, in short speed reading anything you need to truly comprehend is probably a bad idea. •However, if you have a few documents you need to get through or you're reading something that detailed/specific retention is not needed, these methods can still be worthwhile. •Some speed reading claims can be tossed aside immediately - claims that you can read a book as fast as you can flip through a phone book are completely impossible on anatomical and neurological levels.
  30. 30. Speed reading criticism… •It’s simply not possible to comprehend what you’re reading and avoid using that inner voice. •So reading faster means being able to use this inner voice faster, not eliminating it. •Further to that, expert speed readers who were studied also subvocalized, they just did it faster. •Here the evidence is clear: subvocalization is necessary to read well.
  31. 31. Speed reading criticism… For tips on better reading speed, without sacrificing comprehension. Reading Tip #1: Skim Before You Read •Skimming is covering the text too fast to read everything fully. •Skimming, isn’t actually a bad method, provided it’s used wisely. •One study found that skimming a text before going on to reading it, improved comprehension in the majority of cases.
  32. 32. Speed reading criticism… Reading Tip #2: Improve Your Fluency to Improve Your Speed •Fluent recognition of words was one of the major slowing points for readers. •Subvocalization, that mythical nemesis of speed readers, is slower on unfamiliar words. •If you want to speed up reading, learning to recognize words faster seems to improve your reading speed.
  33. 33. Speed reading criticism… Reading Tip #3: Know What You Want, Before You Read It •Part of the reason skimming first might appears to help is that it allows you to map out a document. •Knowing how an article or book is structured, then, allows you to pay more attention to the things you think are important.
  34. 34. Speed reading criticism Reading Tip #4: Deeper Processing Tasks to Improve Retention •Sometimes you don’t want speed at all—you want near full comprehension. •When I was in school, I needed to read most textbooks in a way that I could retain nearly every fact and idea I encountered later. •It’s not just full comprehension you want, but long-term memory of the information. •You could also take sparse, paraphrased notes or rewrite factual information you want to remember as answers to self-quiz later.
  35. 35. Reference •Wikipedia •Speed reading: How to absorb information quickly and effectively •I Was Wrong About Speed Reading: Here are the Facts

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An insight into speed reading including it's history, terms, methods, pros and cons.


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