Speed reading is not magic

Sub vocalization and Speed reading - Stop talking when you speed read!

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About speed reading

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Articles about speed reading

wide eye span and speed reading

Wide eye span and speed reading

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subvocalization and speed reading

Sub vocalization and speed reading

Speed reading is not just about reading faster. It's about learning to use much more of the extraordinary powers of your mind.

Subvocalization, or silent speech, is defined as the internal speech made when reading a word, thus allowing the reader to imagine the sound of the word as it is read (Carver 1990. This is a natural process when reading it helps the mind to reduce its cognitive load, grasp meaning, and enable it to comprehend and remember what is read.

There is no evidence that normal non-observable subvocalizing will negatively effect any reading process (Carver 1990)(McWhorter 2002). At the more powerful rates (Memorizing, learning, and reading for comprehension) subvocalizing is very detectable by the reader. At the less powerful faster rates (skimming and scanning), subvocalization is less detectable. For normal competent readers, subvocalizing to some extent even at scanning rates is normal. However, speed reading advocates generally teach lengthy prescriptive practices to eliminate subvocalising when reading as they claim it "places extra burden on the cognitive resources, thus, slowing the reading down." Normal reading instructors may simply apply remedial teaching to a reader who subvocalizes to the degree that they make visible movements on the lips, jaw, or throat (McWhorter 2002).

It may be impossible to totally eliminate subvocalizing because people learn to read by associating the sight of words with their spoken sounds. Sound associations for words are indelibly imprinted on the nervous systems, even of deaf people, as they will have associated the word with the mechanism for causing the sound. Subvocalizing is an inherent part of reading and understanding a word, and micro-muscle tests suggest that subvocalizing is impossible to eliminate. Attempting to stop subvocalizing is potentially harmful to comprehension, learning and memory. At the more powerful reading rates (100-300wpm), subvocalizing can be used to improve comprehension.

Use this Free Speed Reading Online Training. Download 20Kb. Free online flash metronome for exercise "speed reading is not magic". Click here for the Full version ...

As you read this line, think about what is going on in  your mind.  Stop read.

Were you saying the words silently to yourself as you read?  This habit of saying the words to yourself while you read is called "subvocalization".  While this habit in itself is not the sole cause of slow reading. The "small, still voice" we hear while reading (subvocalization), is natural and is required for all reading below 900 words per minute. The average college graduate reads "basic" level of difficulty material at 250-300 words per minute, with 70% comprehension, therefore they subvocalize until they reach speed reading, which begins at 900 wpm.

Place the text in front of you and make sure you follow these instructions exactly.

Lets start to read using the metronome online training. (<change the '?' to a '.')

  1. Do two fixations of your eyes on each line of the text. One click of metronome - one eye jump! Work in this mode 1-2 minutes.
  2. Adjust velocity of the metronome  to be faster. Continue to read the text. The first time you try the rate of metronome will seem to be very high. After several seconds you will feel that the rate has slowed down. Your mind has adapted to current task and ready for the next one.
  3. Make the rate even faster! Try to move your eyes by waveform path. Notice the time it takes for your brain to adapt. What else you noticed?
  4. Allow yourself to move your eyes as you want. Switch off the metronome and read. Do you notice a change in your normal reading strategy?
  5. Continue the exercise even after the appearance of weariness. Be honest, nobody ever died from weariness. From exhaustion - maybe, but not from weariness! Push yourself to read little bit more. Exhaustion in just a few minutes? Pardon us for not believing you :)!
  6. Okay, you can take a short break now, but just for the time it takes to cut up your text into three perpendicular strips. Place the pieces in front of you. Space them so that you have one-inch blanks between the strips.
  7. Read quickly. The more you practice your speed-reading the more you will understand what you are reading. Soon you will not notice the space between the strips.
  8. Shift center strip in any direction creating an even greater challenge for your brain. Lets make that brain of your work! Notice how easy it becomes.
  9. Put the strips back together - the way they started. Read the text. What do you feel? Easy isn't it!

Don't forget to say thank you to your brain! It is important congratulate yourself for your achievement. The brain is a great adapter.

The maximum speaking rate is 400 words per minute. If you say the words to yourself (even silently) as you read, you will never be able to read any faster than the maximum speaking rate.�  This is known as the "subvocalization barrier". How to draw free lessons.

The Speed Reading software can increases your mental processing speed to the point of "synchronization" and breaking the subvocalization barrier, it can also help you attain speeds far beyond what was once considered possible.

Use a pointer to stop vocalization

Using the tip of your finger, the end of a bookmark, or your computer mouse, can rapidly increase your average words per minute. However, using a pointer in the wrong way can significantly decrease your average words per minute. Do not trace under every word with your pointer. A pointer will help you to avoid re-reading passages, because your pointer will not allow you to return to previous phrases. The right way to use a pointer is to trace down the center of the text. This helps train your eye to stay towards the center of the page, and helps decrease points of fixation.� �  Train yourself to keep your eyes on or near your pointer, and don't let them return to previous lines.�  This also assists in comprehension, because completing paragraphs sooner allows the entire paragraph to `glom' while in short-term memory.


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When we first learn to read, we tend to speak the words out loud. Some readers never truly lose that habit and even if they don�t speak out loud, continue to vocalize the words in their minds. The average speaker talks at 280 words per minute. Therefore if you sub-vocalize every word, this will put a break on how fast you can read. The best way to prevent this is to develop a wider eye span.


Speed Reading Software