The Flaw with Methods That Eliminate Subvocalization - Deepstash

The Flaw with Methods That Eliminate Subvocalization

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.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Sorry, But Speed Reading Won't Help You Read More

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.

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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.

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Woody Allen

 “I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.”

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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.

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The Shortest Answer To Faster Reading

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.

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There are many methods that claim to increase reading speed, going by different names, but they are all based on the same techniques and unsubstantiated facts that led to speed-reading.

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Skimming is a guaranteed way to increase reading speed, but just like speed-reading it hurts comprehension.

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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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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 to increase vocabulary or read things you already know a lot about are the only scientifically backed methods to increase speed and comprehension.

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Speed reading
  • Speed reading promises to help anyone read at speeds of above 1000 words per minute with full comprehension.
  • The average college-level reader read at the speed of 200-400 words per minute.
  • In 1959, Evelyn Wood launched Reading Dynamics, said to increase a reader's speed by a factor of three to ten times while improving comprehension. The business was a success and eventually spread worldwide.

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Slow Readers

Many people tend to feel embarrassed about not being able to read fast enough or are made fun of when they read slow. But the fact that reading is not a natural human ability needs to be kept in mind.

Reading is a skill that we acquire through years of development with the coordination of cognitive strategies such as image recognition and linguistic pairing since reading is not a skill that is hardwired into our brains.

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