Image courtesy of Sam Greenhalgh via Flickr (2.0)
So far in the series, we’ve discussed three things you should do and one you shouldn’t in order to read faster. Here are a couple more things to avoid.
Have you ever caught yourself pronouncing words quietly in your head while reading a text?
This habit of saying words in our mind as we read them is called sub-vocalising.
When we first begin to learn to read as children, we do so by saying words out aloud. This practice improves both comprehension and diction. As we grow older, we learn to be silent while reading, but the habit of pronouncing words one by one sort of stays with us. The difference, of course, is that by then it’s all done in our head.
There’s no doubt that vocalising text helps comprehension, but it also slows us down terribly, so it’s best to kick the habit. One effective way to overcome this is to move the pointer faster than the speed at which you hear words in your mind.
Don’t re-read everything
Do you sometimes go back to a sentence you’ve just read and double-check to see if you’ve understood it correctly?
Don’t worry if the answer is ‘yes’, you’re not alone here.
When doing a reading exercise, however, fight the urge to re-read, because it may be a total waste of time. Instead, wait till you finish reading an entire section before you choose whether or not to go back to a sentence.
You’ll find that reading some more of the text can help you understand without having to re-read that first sentence.
Remember to follow these dos and don’ts, and you should be able to read faster with better comprehension.