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Reading strategies to improve reading comprehension

 

Speed reading

How to speed read and comprehend more 

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A question that I often hear is "how could I read over 1500 words per minute and still comprehend what I am reading?" Another question often asked is "does speed reading really work?" This article will attempt to answer these two questions.

Reading is making meaning from print. If your mind is not engaged in making meaning when you are applying speed reading techniques, then you are not actually reading. The word reading, always assumes some level of comprehension. 

Lady reading - Speed readingSpeed reading

There are two primary aspects of speed reading. The first is improving the actual mechanics of reading. That happens with eye movement techniques. In fact, it is possible to physically move your eyes and see all the words on the page at rates of 10,000 - 100,000 words per minute. Any speed reading program will contain this aspect. But unfortunately, in many programs this is all that is trained.  

Reading comprehension

The second aspect of speed reading is comprehension. Comprehension is the mind generating understanding from the text on the page. In effect, reading is thinking. You can read as fast as your mind can respond to the print. To truly speed read, you need to learn how to increase the speed at which your mind processes information.  

Does speed reading really work?

To answer this question, "does speed reading really work?" I would respond "no, you need to work it!" That means there are ways to train your brain to respond differently as you accelerate your reading speed. What I have found that works best is to teach people wanting to increase speed and comprehension is to teach the mechanics first with some level of comprehension. The key is relaxing during this initial skill building stage and not be overly concerned with memorising.

After you are more comfortable with the physical/mechanical skills of reading faster, then focus on building comprehension skills. When you have broken out of the old habits you have accumulated in the past, you are then able to monitor what your mind is doing as you don't have to think as much about the eye mechanics.  

Reading strategies that engage the whole brain

One of the keys to comprehension is preparing the mind for reading. There are a wide assortment of tools to help you with this phase of training. The comprehension approach moves you from the traditional left brain approach that you previously utilised and engage your whole brain, in other words you learn how to activate the right hemisphere as well. One way of helping to do this is looking through the material in a manner that gives you the '30,000 foot view' instead of the word-by-word view people are taught when first learning to read.  

From that 'high' view, you then learn to navigate at various levels depending on your needs and purposes. Nevertheless remember, comprehension requires your mind to engage with the print. As your eyes are moving through the material, ask yourself, "what am I thinking about?" If it has nothing to do with the print, then you are not reading, you are doing something else. Bring your focus back to the print. Learn how to build better comprehension by monitoring what your mind is thinking about.

By following these simple steps, your capacity to read faster increases and your comprehension improves as well. Also you will benefit by increasing your vocabulary at the same time. You will be able to understand the printed language better and this will translate into faster reading time, thus increasing speed and comprehension.

Jones Taylor - Jones is a speed reading expert and author of Speed Reding and Comprehension.

Source: http://www.spreeder.com


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