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How to Read Faster

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Reading Faster Requires Steady Practice

Follow the example of good readers! Researchers have discovered that good readers do these three things when they read:

1) Good readers move their eyes steadily across the page

Using video cameras, researchers have recorded the eye movements of people as they read. Good readers move their eyes steadily across the page. They do not hesitate and they do not frequently move back to check what they read. They have the confidence to move steadily forward. You can do the same with practice!

2) Good readers look at groups of words, not individual words

Consider the sentence "Today is one of the most important days of the year". Video tapes show that slow readers pause at every word to get the meaning. They will see "Today" ... "is" ... "one" ... "of" ... "the" ... "most" ... "important" ... "days" ... "of" ... "the" ... "year", for a total of eleven pauses. Good readers, on the other hand, will only pause three or four times in the same sentence, saving a lot of time. For example, they might read "Today is" ... "one of the most" ... "important days" ... "of the year". Train yourself to read word groupings instead of single words. It takes practice, but that practice will save you a lot of time in the future.

3) Good readers turn off their "inner voice"

When many people read, they have an "inner voice" that pronounces each word, as though they are speaking. I do this, too, when I'm not concentrating. For speaking English, this is an advantage, because you can learn to say all of the words and sentences that you read. However, it slows down your reading speed. When you see a groups words such as "I am hungry", just look at the letters and get the meaning instantly, rather than pretending to say the words. This is not easy to do, but if you can turn off this "inner voice", you will be able to read more in less time.

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