How to Increase Reading Speed
February 6th, 2014 by Tony Barlow
Why do some students pick up reading skills much quicker than others? What is the most effective way to increase a person’s reading fluency and speed? There are some answers here based on my findings using NLP.
I will also be talking about why the traditional methods for increasing reading speed tend to be very slow to produce results. There is a much easier way.
This article assumes that the student has already learned the letters of the alphabet and they have started to read at least some words and that there are no ‘Dyslexia’ symptoms such as reading distortions which requires a different solution.
Reading & Reading comprehension are not the same thing
Lets clarify something before we start. Reading fluently is about recognizing words on a page and being able to say them. Reading comprehension is about understanding what the words mean which is a different skill.
For example I could teach you how to read a page of Russian by telling you how to say each word on the page. After some practice you would be able to read the page fluently, however you may have no idea what the page is about.
Why traditional (fonix) methods can be slow to produce results
The traditional school or reading program approaches are generally based on the principles of phonics (puh honix).
The theory is that you need to 1) learn the sounds of the letters 2) learn the sounds of letters put together 3) learn all the exceptions to the rules (a ph is ff ….)
So the advice is to ‘sound out’ words. Sound out the following words:
two (tuh woh)
caught (cah ug huh t)
scissors (ski sors)
Oh you’re having trouble with that so we need to teach you all the exceptions to the rules for sounding out. BUNKUM sorry but this is such a long, tedious and in my opinion based on a flawed theory.
The fonix aproch wud wurk beter if wurds in the english lanqwig aktualy looked lik they sownd.
But they don’t for around 40% of the words in English.
How reading actually happens in the mind
When you are reading effectively what is actually happening in the mind. Just think about that now as you are reading this, are you sounding anything out. NO as you look at the words on the page, the sound of the word just pops into your mind.
What is the goal here ? The goal is to get the student to recognize more words. In NLP terms to connect the sight of a word neurologically to the sound of the word.
When you see the word ‘happy’ you want the sound of the word to instantly pop into your mind. That’s what happens when you are reading well.
What’s actually happening is we are recognizing WHOLE WORDS no matter what the phonics research tells us. I don’t believe that we are deciphering sounds.
Modeling excellent readers
Using the NLP ‘modeling excellence’ approach I interviewed several young students with exceptionally high reading ability for their age. My goal was to find out how they learned new words and how they built up the number of words that they could read and retain the words in memory.
When using NLP to uncover the thought process of these students, this is what I found.
-They would take a guess based on similar words they had seen – taught, caught or brain, train.
-or they found out how to say the word from someone else and then memorized it by simultaneously looking at the word and saying the sound.
Steps to increasing reading fluency
When you are reading effectively what is actually happening in the mind. See more here.
How to memorize definitions in seconds !
To achieve one time memory, which is what we are always going for in order to achieve accelerated learning rates.
The student needs to create a full mental experience of the meaning, not just a picture but the feeling of a pteridophyte, the sound of the pteridophyte blowing in the wind, a full hollywood production inside their thought process while saying the meaning of the word.
Also I suggest seeing the word itself somewhere in the picture.
Creating a full mental experience will make a strong impression on the brains neurology and the memory will stick long term, particularly if you can add emotion to the experience. Please read the article How Memory Works to find out more about achieving one time memory.
*Note: Remember that looking at a picture of a pteridophyte in a book and saying the meaning will not have the same effect. The student needs to LOOK AWAY from the book and create a mental experience (visualization). This is what puts the information into memory.
Teachers and tutors often say to me, I show him, I tell him, and he still doesn’t remember it.
Understand that the teaching method is not what gets the student to memorize or understand something. Its what the student does INSIDE their mind while you’re teaching them that matters most.
Other resources to help you start learning quickly and easily
- Book a 1-2-1 Session with Tony
- Book a FREE ‘Find out More’ chat with Tony
- Go to the Free Tips Page to find out more
Thank you for reading this article, I really appreciate you coming to my site, I hope you are enjoying and benefiting from the information here. This site is designed to be the ultimate free resource for students / parents of struggling students.
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Thanks again, and good luck!