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Improving reading skills (Part 1)

By Edited Nov 17, 2016 1 2

A very easy 5 part guide on how to increase reading speed

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Improving reading skills is a journey like any other where your results are equal to your efforts. It is important to understand to begin with that each person reads at a certain rate and this rate is a consequence of the way we have been taught to read and the quantity of reading over the years. It is probably very interesting for you to know that in average, given similar reading habits, we all read more or less at a similar speed. This comes from our education where we are told to read each word and pronounce it in our minds. It is also amazing to find out that our reading speed can not exceed our talking speed (without this training). But then again is it really so surprising to hear that given that I just told you that we pronounce every word when we are reading and naturally we can not then read faster than what we are pronouncing.

The talking speed for an average English speaking person is somewhere in the region of 120-150 words per minute. So consequently the reading speed is similar to this at best, but more often lower than this range. Naturally, different cultures and languages follow different talking speeds and these are simply carried over from one generation to another as parents teach their kids and so on down the line. Moreover, education standards do not change very often (if at all in certain areas) and therefore our reading abilities have been limited structurally by our parents and our teachers, who, obviously, were not aiming to hurt us, but simply were teaching us what they were taught in the first place.

Improving reading skills is therefore possible, I strongly

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believe, only by truly understanding our current situation and once the root cause of the limitation is truly understood you can continue by slowly making progress. The root cause is our current “programming” which has been repeatedly hammered into our brains, i.e. read in your mind.

Maybe some of you do not believe me. Then let’s do a tiny test. Most of the time when you are reading a book or an article on the internet you just do it and don’t think about it - kind of like breathing. Now, I simply ask you to pay attention. When you are reading these words right this moment can you see that you are repeating them in your head? If you are not sure then read again and pay attention. The moment of revelation is quite amusing for those who were not aware of it, yet only when you are aware of the problem you can start to address the problem. You can never fix something which you are not aware of.

That was your first realization. Next on improving reading skills: in Part 2.

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Comments

Apr 29, 2011 3:45pm
jpwriter
"When you are reading these words right this moment can you see that you are repeating them in your head?"

You got me! I was repeating it in my head and stopped when I read that sentence. Very good point.
Apr 29, 2011 3:59pm
xorovatz
:-)
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