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Learn to Read English Faster

How many words can you read in English in one minute? Generally speaking, native English speakers can read between 200 and 400 words in one minute. (We normally say "200 words per minute" or "200 wpm".) Many students of English can read fewer than 100 wpm. If that is true for you, then you need to practice a lot. Better students can read between 100 and 200 wpm. As you learn more English, including vocabulary, your wpm will increase too.

You can find out how fast you read by going to Teacher Joe's Timed Readings page. Try each of the readings to see how fast you can read. Try to get the main ideas while you read, but if you have trouble with many words, just try to guess their meaning. If this is the first time you have ever tried to see your reading rate, don't worry if it's a bit difficult. As long as you keep trying, you can improve your wpm quite quickly.

In the future, continue reading, at least for 20 minutes every day. Try to get main ideas first, trying to build up speed. You can get the details later, if you decide that you really need that information. With your daily practice, try reading one article or book for ten minutes. Count how many words there are in the first ten lines. Divide that number by ten to get the average number of words in each line. When you count how many lines you have read, you can easily calculate the total words read. Divide by ten (because you read for ten minutes) and you have the number of words per minute or wpm.

As you read faster, you can enjoy more of what you read. Then you will find that your English vocabulary improves greatly. Not only will you know more words, you will also start to use them correctly, because you have seen them many times in your reading. As always, practice makes perfect, so keep on practicing your reading!

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