What is Speed Reading?
On this website what we refer to as ‘Speed Reading’ is not strategies for ‘scanning’ or ‘skimming. The phrase ‘Speed Reading’ is used to describe a reading process that is the same as that employed by a native reader of the specific language.
Essentially, a native reader does not stop (often), does not go back in the text (constantly), and does not rely on a dictionary.
Instead, they read texts in a rhythmical, flowing manner, aiming for general understanding of the text.
This manner of reading is the ‘reading fluency’ mentioned above in the ‘Extensive Reading’ section.
The traditional Grammar-Translation Method does not nurture learners’ reading fluency. Learners need to read easy texts relatively fast for general understanding (here, we define ‘general understanding’ as ‘understanding more than 70% of the content’).
Speed Reading develops learners’ reading fluency, similarly to Extensive Reading.
Empirical studies have proven that when learners practice Speed Reading, they develop skills of quickly, accurately, and subconsciously processing words and grammatical structures. These skills result in readers no longer needing to go back repeatedly and reread the text to make sense of it.
Tips for Speed Reading
When you use stories for Speed Reading, try to choose stories easier than those you read for Extensive Reading. It is ideal to read stories that do not have any unknown words. If you practice Speed Reading three times a week, you will notice good results relatively soon. You can record how many words you read per minute. Seeing how you are improving will spur your motivation to continue. Many stories on this site have word numbers so that you can calculate how many words you can read per minute by recording your reading time.
Try to read when you do Speed Reading in the following way:
Read as you read easy newspaper or magazine articles for general meaning in your first language. Or read when you read your favourite materials for pleasure in your first language.