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What is the best way to improve reading speed.


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I was wondering if I could enhance my reading speed as I am not at all satisfied with the current reading speed  :cry:, some of the way I tried is reading aloud, reading almost anything but all proved to be useless.

I don't know what exactly the problem is, I think I can write even faster but not reading. One thing I would like to mention that once I am into reading for longer than five minutes, then its normal and I can read very fluent.

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I was wondering if I could enhance my reading speed as I am not at all satisfied with the current reading speed  :cry:, some of the way I tried is reading aloud, reading almost anything but all proved to be useless.

I don't know what exactly the problem is, I think I can write even faster but not reading. One thing I would like to mention that once I am into reading for longer than five minutes, then its normal and I can read very fluent.

You might want to try practicing your reading skills with some basic or simple texts in which you are familiar with most or all of the words.  Rather than reading aloud or sounding out all of the words in your mind, try to take in several words at once, as you would likely do in your native language. 

As much as possible, avoid translating what you're reading into your native language, and instead let your mind comprehend the English words, just as you would if you were listening to someone speak.

As you get familiar with the process see if you can read more quickly.  Try skimming a passage to see how much of it you comprehend.  Then go back and read more slowly and see what you may have missed. 

That's what I would do.  Does anyone else have some suggestions?  What's working for you? 

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The only thing I know is to read aloud again and again. Keep practicing until your tongue get used to it. I also face in front of the mirror when I'm doing that, so I can see my facial reactions. Sometimes, I'm also using a recorder. I record what I read then play it afterwards so I can check if there is something wrong with my pronunciation or if my reading is improving.

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I think Laura M has made a good suggestion.  It is interesting to note that you said after about 5 minutes, you become more fluent.  I have two thoughts based on this as your own self diagnosis. 

Perhaps by being concerned with your speed, you are hampering your own progress.  I say this as once you "get going" you are less distracted with time and acknowledge you are more fluent.  Perhaps if you allow yourself that concept, that I may be slow in the beggining, you will concentrate more on the task and less on timing yourself.  We are our own worst critics sometimes.

Also, practice, practice, practice seems to make anyone more proficient regardless of the task. 

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I would suggest the reading of books with techniques specially designed to improve your reading speed.

Some recommendable books include these,

  • Work Smarter with Speed Reading, by Tina Konstant
  • Learn to Speed Read, by Kris Madden
  • Memletics, Effective Speed Reading Course, by Sean Whiteley

These and other speed reading books can be found online in PDF format that you can download for free, just google them.

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I really recommend you to read the books of Tony Buzan.  He's an expert on this topic (truly), I've several books he has written on this subject, and let me tell you his books are very well organized and full of useful exercises that will help you improve your reading speed.  Most of his books also include a very efficient method to measure your progress.  He has also written a lot books on mental mapping.

Mental mapping is a very amazing skill, but it requires a lot time and patience to master it.  I recommend you Tony's book for this as well.  If I recall right, he was the one who developed this method. Mental mapping is great because it can help you remember a lot things easily (useful for studying) and can also help you to organize your thought and think of new ideas.

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I was wondering if I could enhance my reading speed as I am not at all satisfied with the current reading speed  :cry:, some of the way I tried is reading aloud, reading almost anything but all proved to be useless.

I don't know what exactly the problem is, I think I can write even faster but not reading. One thing I would like to mention that once I am into reading for longer than five minutes, then its normal and I can read very fluent.

Sometimes, it depends also on how much you practice.  A lot of my previous English teachers advised me to read the newspaper everyday, because it somehow trains your eyes to move down a page by just looking at the middle part of a column.  Since newspapers have very small columns, it will be a good start to train your eyes and then your visual scope will widen until you are able to read a whole page.

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Guest isabbbela

That might seem stupid, but for me the best way to improve your reading speed is by reading! Practice makes perfect, and the more you get used to reading, the easier and faster it gets.

I have friends that don't speak English and complain about not liking movies in their original English language with subtitles cause they can read them fast enough. I also have friends that don't read books in English cause they say it takes forever. Well, if you don't start, you'll never get a grasp of it!

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I think the best way to increase reading speed is to read. I think practice makes perfect. I do not expect anyone trying to increase their reading speed, to read a whole book in one day. I expect a slow progressive start. I think you should start slow and work your way up. You should start by reading smaller articles and passages. Once you have developed an idea of your ideal speed, you should start reading thoroughly.

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I would suggest the reading of books with techniques specially designed to improve your reading speed.

Some recommendable books include these,

  • Work Smarter with Speed Reading, by Tina Konstant
  • Learn to Speed Read, by Kris Madden
  • Memletics, Effective Speed Reading Course, by Sean Whiteley

These and other speed reading books can be found online in PDF format that you can download for free, just google them.

I really recommend you to read the books of Tony Buzan.  He's an expert on this topic (truly), I've several books he has written on this subject, and let me tell you his books are very well organized and full of useful exercises that will help you improve your reading speed.  Most of his books also include a very efficient method to measure your progress.  He has also written a lot books on mental mapping.

Mental mapping is a very amazing skill, but it requires a lot time and patience to master it.  I recommend you Tony's book for this as well.  If I recall right, he was the one who developed this method. Mental mapping is great because it can help you remember a lot things easily (useful for studying) and can also help you to organize your thought and think of new ideas.

Thank you both for sharing these book titles and authors!  This is fantastic as these methods will be  helpful for any language including our respective native languages.

I agree with the general consensus on this thread, practice is important.  Daily practice preferably.  Even reading articles online is helpful.  It helps build confidence and it will reduce the concern and anxiety, through sheer repetition and familiarity. 

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  • 4 years later...
On 9/19/2013 at 5:34 PM, kitkat0124 said:

The only thing I know is to read aloud again and again. Keep practicing until your tongue get used to it. I also face in front of the mirror when I'm doing that, so I can see my facial reactions. Sometimes, I'm also using a recorder. I record what I read then play it afterwards so I can check if there is something wrong with my pronunciation or if my reading is improving.

I have read somewhere that reading aloud hinders your speed instead because our brain reads faster than our mouth.

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