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Improving reading skills (Part 5)

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

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


Many readers use also their lips while they are reading, so the next bad habit to be corrected when improving reading skills is moving your lips. It does not really matter if you are moving your lips and pronouncing the words aloud or if you are whispering them or if you are not making any sound at all, the fact remains that if you are moving your lips, you are pronouncing the words and this puts a physical limitation on yourself because there are only so many words you can pronounce per minute.

Moreover, I urge you to test yourself even if you think that you are not moving your lips. It is very easy with technology nowadays. Just use your phone or your camera or your webcam to record yourself. This will not only show you if you are moving your lips, but it will also show you how your eyes are moving. As a matter of fact, when improving reading skills, making such a recording every month or every two months will give you the possibility to objectively evaluate if you have progressed or not.

reading smiley

Problem reminder:
Moving your lips while reading limits your reading speed.

Stop moving your lips.

The method:
The easiest method is just to pay attention and be aware of what you are doing. If you find yourself lip reading just correct it and continue. Keep correcting until it is solved.
If this does not work for you then putting something in your mouth while reading will help you in both noticing the movement and blocking the movement. This can be a pen or a pencil or even a ball or a fruit.



Next, we have the issues of

  • pointing at words with your finger
  • marking things on the page
  • using a paper or ruler to go from line to line
  • using a hand to trace the read words
  • taking a long time to turn the page

These practices must be stopped because all of them block a certain part of the page, which will greatly interfere with your perception of the page, especially once you train yourself to see much more than a word at a time.

The method:
There is no magic method - you simply must stop doing these things.


Finally, as you are improving reading skills, let’s discuss monitoring your growth. This can give you motivation as you will be able to see your progress. In order to do this you should create yourself a file or a calendar or a notepad or a diary where you note down how long you have trained and what your feelings were. This helps with discipline and reminds you that even though you have a long way, you have already invested and accomplished a lot. Next, as mentioned you can make recordings of how you read and watch over months to see if your lips are still moving and if your eyes are moving just as fast or they have slowed down, which is a clear sign of improvement.


So to summarize:

  • Unlearn pronouncing words, lip reading, putting your hands on the page and turning the page slow
  • Teach your eyes to see much more than one word at a time
  • Practice Practice Practice!


Last, but not the least, I would like to express that improving reading skills is a 2 step learning. In the first step you will do all of the things described in the 5 parts series and in the process, but likely afterwards with more practice you will achieve the step 2, which is understanding everything you are reading. You see, absorbing information is not an issue at all for your eyes. Your subconscious also has no issue to store all of the information, but your untrained conscious needs to learn to process the data as it has never done before. It is fully able to do so, it just needs to be taught. So read a lot the correct way and do not worry at all if you are not getting the information. As a matter of fact keep reading with your eyes and mind the exact same book over and over again until you will achieve the moment where you have understood everything that you just SAW.




Apr 24, 2011 7:46am
Good information. I am a firm believer that we can see more information at a time than we have been taught in school.

As a vocal reader (saying the word out loud while reading) I learned to break the habit by humming a constant tone while reading. If I can maintain the tone, that means I am not trying to pronounce the words. It would be the same as holding something in your mouth, but I don't have to carry anything with me that I can shove in my mouth this way.

Enjoyed the series. Now I just need to practice it.
Apr 24, 2011 10:26am
good trick :)
thanks for your comment
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