Speed Reading Tutorial

June 20, 2009

Chunking Reading Made Easy

Filed under: Chunking — by speedreadingtutorial @ 4:08 pm
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Chunking reading will turn you from a snail into a cheetah! Do you want to read like a snail or a cheetah? By learning to chunk read you will forget about reading slowly and learn how to put vast amounts of information together in a short period of time. The art of reading is always required, whether you are a student or in a specific career. Therefore, mastering the best and most efficient speed reading tips is critical to your success.

Chunking reading will require some practice. That is the bad news. The good news is that anyone with reasonable eyesight can learn how to chunk. Chunking refers to reading groups of words as one whole unit. The words are no longer separate, they are one group of information. This would be the opposite of reading one word at a time. Why do I mention eyesight? Well, as humans, we are able to see 180 degrees wide when we are facing forward. Why not use this ability in your reading? We have to re-train ourselves to use our 180 degree vision ability because we have been taught, since our early school days, to narrow and focus our reading vision to only about 12 degrees wide. For chunk reading we need to soften our focus and allow our peripheral vision to come in handy.

There are some basic speed reading exercises available for free here that might help you practice.

Start out slowly when learning to chunk read. Begin by selecting a page of writing and drawing two vertical lines down the page. These lines should cut off approximately the first two words and the last two words in each line of writing. In using this technique you will begin to train your eyes to focus only on the middle section of writing and allow your peripheral vision to see the ends of the writing. Imagine that the lines of writing are divided into three phrases. Don’t over-analyze the scenario, just read the middle section and ignore the outer edges. This method is referred to as triple-chunking and once accustomed to it, you will triple your reading speed!

Now that you are an accomplished triple-chunker, you can learn to double-chunk. This method requires similar tactics, only here, divide your page of writing into equal halves instead of three sections. Once again, think of each sentence as being made up of two phrases. Glance once at each side of the page, reading each half as a whole unit. With practice you will learn to focus on the middle line and your peripheral vision will have expanded to include the rest of the writing. Chunking methods will prevent you from struggling with eye-fixation problems. Fixation means getting stuck on words here and there in the sentence, slowing your reading down as you fixate for too long on specific words.

By now you may class yourself as a cheetah-reader! If you would still like to go further, there is the skill of single-chunking to master. Here you are reading the whole sentence as one phrase. The technique that you will need to practice is as follows. Instead of moving your eyes from left to right, move them in a diagonal direction. Read the right side of the first sentence and then the left side of the second sentence and so forth using a diagonal eye movement pattern. This is an excellent way to increase reading speed.  Remember practice makes perfect and these methods are not achieved overnight. Persevere and you will succeed. Say good-buy to 3rd grade reading styles forever!

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June 1, 2009

Speed Reading and Repetition as an Effective Study Skill

Filed under: Study Skills — by speedreadingtutorial @ 5:24 pm
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Speed reading can facilitate the most common and basic learning technique of repetition. Knowing how to speed read is highly advantageous for students in any grade or in college. Being able to apply this skill to their school work and study methods will save time and give the student and extra boost for improved grades. Speed reading can also be applied to learning by repetition. In fact, the history of speed reading suggests that it was originally developed to be part of a study program.

Everyone knows that when something is repeated often enough, it becomes part of our memory. For instance, your best friend’s phone number. You didn’t know the number until she gave it to you, and after you had dialed it a couple of times, you didn’t need to look at it written down anymore, it has been memorized. The same applies to any fact that needs to be remembered. It can be argued that learning by repetition is not the best and most efficient way of memorizing information. This is because repetition is a left-brain learning style and the information will not be remembered for lengthy time periods and takes longer to memorize. Even so, it is still the most common way for many students to study their work, by speed reading and summarizing.

Speed reading allows the student to absorb large amounts of information whilst reading quickly. It also improves the student’s comprehension level. These are two very important factors for effective studying. A speed reader will be able to go over the original information several times, far more quickly than the average reader will take to read it once. This will assist with the repetition process.

Speed readers are also, in general, much more proficient with key words than the ‘slower reader’. This helps with the summarizing of the study material. Once the work has been effectively summarized, the speed reader will be able to effortlessly revise it a number of times in a short period of time.

When learning by repeating information, it is important to take regular breaks between study sessions. Research shows that the most information is memorized at the start and end of each study session. Therefore, shorter periods, for example half an hour, will have a better success rate than an hour. Breaks also help to strengthen and stabilize the information within the brain. The lengths of study sessions and breaks will differ between students. They should experiment to determine the time span that works well for them.

Over time, the facts memorized by repetition will fade and be forgotten. If you would like to retain this information, revision every week or every few weeks will be necessary. Students should make use of their speed reading skills to maximize their revision process.