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Read. The more you read the more familiar you are with linguistic structures, contexts and content, which speeds up your reading. That’s especially true when learning new words or familiar words used in novel ways.
It is not the eyes but what we know about language, print, and the world that determines reading skill.
Software using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) methods claim to eliminate unnecessary eye movements, thus increasing reading speed. It presents words above the average reading speed, one at a time, at a single location on the screen.
Unfortunately, experiments show RSVP software does increase reading speed, but subjects could only sustain reading at high speeds with good comprehension for short bursts.
This methods are supposed to let you read it right the first time, but regressive eye movements generate enhanced understanding beyond what could be obtained on the first pass.
Due to sentences unfolding linearly, often contrary to the messages they convey, rereading becomes necessary for proper understanding.
Training the reader to process information in the visual periphery and using page scanning techniques.
This idea defies physical constraints of the visual system, like the number of cells on the retina.
Provide exercises to silence that inner voice present when we read in silence as speed-reading programs claim it slows reading.
This defies research that shows that subvocalization is a sub product identifying words.
Reading speed depends on factors such as the readers’ skills, goals and familiarity with content.
The average reader reads about 280 words per minute according to empirical evidence and calculations based on properties of eyes and texts. Despite speed readers' claims, this value can't be increased much without sacrificing comprehension.
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Speed reading uses methods such as chunking, scanning, reducing subvocalization, and using meta guiding. For example, reading the first sentence of each paragraph can indicate if it's worth reading more or to move on. Or guiding your eye by using your finger.
Some researchers looked into speed reading and found there is a trade-off between speed and accuracy.
Speed reading can help you skim to content, which is useful at times. However, speed reading cannot help you read faster and retain more information.
Research points to speed reading being a form of skimming, which is appropriate for short text but not for longer ones.
For long texts, reading more
Although there is an academic consensus that speed-reading decreases comprehension,
On the other hand, the same can’t be said for comprehension measurement techniques, as we can process text differently according to context.
"I took a course in speed-reading...and was able to read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It's about Russia."
Regardless of which reading method you use, the evidence points towards the fact that speed comes at the sacrifice of understanding.
Depending on what you’re reading, this might not necessarily be a bad thing: If you’re trying to get through a dry piece to capture a few key points or you are going through a short piece that’s easy to understand, speed reading strategies might make sense.