Speed ​​reading: learn the 5 techniques to read faster

Quick reading it is the art of silencing the sub-vocalization. Most readers have a reading speed of around 200 words per minute, which is the speed at which they are typically read aloud. The inner voice is what determines this reading speed, and what keeps us from reaching a higher reading speed, as we have been taught to read this way.

Anyway, it is possible to read more quickly and with a better understanding of texts or novels. The solution is simple: absorb the reading faster than the inner voice thanks to different techniques. For example, follow the reading with your finger so that the reading will be faster than usual. This is because eye to eye reading is less difficult to follow word for word.

What is subvocalization?

As we mentioned, one of the most common mistakes that are often made during playback is that of subvocalization. But what is subvocalization? Well, sub-vocalization it consists of mentally repeating each word as you read. This is what cuts down on reading time and works very poorly if you want to save time so that you can read a lot more.

And why does this happen? Because when you subvocalize reading and mentally repeat words as you read them, the words captured by your eyes, go to the acoustic system (i.e. the ear) and then to the brain. However, if you eliminate the subvocalization, you eliminate the step of the acoustic system and what you read goes straight from sight to the brain.

Factors that lead to a decrease in reading speed

Speed ​​reading allows you to read more reading material. In addition, it allows you to have more time to read other texts or books that you would like to read. As your speed reading skills improve, you will gain more skill in paying attention to the important details of the material you read, and you will be able to keep more material than you remember without. these techniques.

But right now, if you don’t know these techniques, you are using habits that interfere with your reading speed. Here is one of the factors that negatively influences your ability to read:

  • Defective eye movements, imprecision in eye placement during reading
  • Regression or re-reading of material already read
  • Limited loss of perception leading to word-for-word reading
  • Vocalization, the process of putting sounds into the words you read
  • The false belief that slow reading leads to better comprehension
  • Incorrect evaluation of important parts of the reading material
  • Lack of concentration

Some speed reading techniques

There are many techniques that can be used for speed reading, and these can be learned in lessons or workshops. Knowing these techniques will not only allow you to read faster, but can also provide you with a better quality of life, as your reading, comprehension, and retention will improve over time.

First of all, it is important to know that there are different reading techniques for different situations (reading for fun, searching for information, to accomplish a task, etc.) and therefore it is necessary to choose the necessary technique according to the purpose of the reading. Here are some of the most well-known (not all) techniques used for speed reading.

1. Preparation and ergonomics of reading

Before using any technique you need to assess the context in which you are reading and adjustments if necessary. Sit comfortably in a chair and in a place where you can read without distractions, with your head tilted slightly forward, adjust the light so as not to strain your eyes, adopt a patient and positive attitude, etc.

If you’re reading from your computer, tablet, or book, make sure your screen is clean and not blinking. Adjust the colors if necessary, as the best way to display the text is to use dark letters on a light background.

2. Use a guide

To read faster, you can use your finger, a ruler or a pencil (Or rather your eraser) to continue reading below each line. This helps you focus your eyesight, making it easier for the eye to follow the word-for-word reading movement.

3. Read the words as a group

This point is important for solving the problem of word-for-word reading and thus reducing subvocalization. As you read the word, your eyes focus on that word you are reading, which is known as the primary focus. Despite this, your eyes can cover a wider field of vision, In which both sides of the main focus are displayed. This area, which is the main focus and some distance to either side, is known as the focal field or peripheral vision.

Some people have a focal field of three or four words, others have a wider peripheral vision. This point can be difficult to accomplish, but it only requires practice.

4. Read from third word

Once you have learned to master the previous point, it is possible to read from the third word at the beginning of the paragraph and end on the third word before the end of the paragraph. like that wasted peripheral vision is used for the margins.

5. Practice skimming

the skimmed refers to the search for the most important ideas by reading the first and last paragraph, taking into account other organizational signals, such as summaries, used by the author.

It is useful for finding information because it helps identify if the text is interesting, or when the newspaper is read. In these cases, skimming is performed at a speed three to four times faster than normal playback. In addition, skimming allows you to get a first feel for the text, which helps you read quickly, without having to use regression, i.e. proofreading.

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