Is Speed reading to improve your English? I will explain the effect of speed readingAugust 21, 2022
In learning English, I often hear that reading a lot of English can improve your English skills.
Many people read textbooks and English articles on a daily basis and input words and expressions.
If you continue learning to read, you will be able to read at a fairly high speed, but you can expect further improvement in your English ability by training to read at a higher speed, so-called speed reading.
So, this time, I would like to introduce the effect of speed reading and the method to increase the reading speed.
Learn about speed reading
First, let’s know the basics of speed reading.
Here, we will explain what kind of effect can be obtained by speed reading and how to read more effectively.
Speed reading Expected effects
Speed reading means reading as fast as letters, and the purpose of speed reading training is to be able to read English sentences quickly.
By being able to read English faster, you will be able to quickly solve long English problems that tend to run out of time on the test.
Then, what kind of effect can you expect in English conversation by being able to read English faster?
First of all, many people who cannot read English quickly do “return reading”, which takes the meaning from the back of the sentence without reading in the English word order, or even if they can read in the English word order, they become Japanese. I often read while translating.
On the other hand, being able to read English faster means that you can understand the English word order without going through Japanese, and the speed of processing English in your head will be faster .
In other words, not only the English text information that comes in by reading, but also the processing of English voice information becomes faster.
As a result, the listening ability required in English conversation to respond instantly to what the other person says will increase.
Many English learners may not be able to hear the meaning of fast English when they are having an English conversation or watching a movie or drama spoken in English.
One of the reasons why I can’t understand the English I hear instantly is that I can’t process the spoken fast-speed English without going through Japanese.
In that respect, speed reading will dramatically improve your listening comprehension.
To be able to read faster
To be able to read English quickly, you need to learn the following three things.
・Understanding and vocabulary of Basic grammar
Needless to say, if you don’t know the grammar and words, you can’t understand even if you read English.
Recently, genre-specific vocabulary books are also on sale, so if you feel that your vocabulary is not enough, it is efficient to memorize one vocabulary book that matches the English genre you read often.
Memorizing is not easy, but if you remember it, you will be able to read English sentences smoothly, so it will be easier later.
・ Ability to understand English sentences in English word order
Speed reading will not be possible if you cannot understand the English sentence without reading it in the English word order and then reading it back.
“I can’t read in English word order = I can’t understand in English”, that is, reading back is because Japanese is intervening.
If you can read English without having to bother to convert it to Japanese, the speed will be much faster, and by acquiring that skill, you will be able to instantly understand English as it is when listening.
To be able to read in English word order, practice reading many times by imposing the rule of not reading back.
If the article is at a level that can be understood by reading back, you will be able to do it immediately after some practice.
・ Ability to capture multiple words as a block
Also, even if you can read in the English word order, if you cannot understand it unless you read it word by word, you will not be able to read it quickly, and it will not improve your listening skills.
For example, the following sentence.
Today / afternoon / in Shinjuku / buy a watch / plan /.
If you read each one with a slash as a delimiter, it will take a lot of time. On the other hand, what about the following example?
I plan to buy a watch this afternoon / in Shinjuku.
If you can divide the seven words into three large chunks and understand the meaning of each chunk, you will be able to read them at a much faster speed.
In this way, you will be able to read quickly by catching a large chunk instantly and reading it so that you can understand it quickly.
“Slash reading” is effective for catching lumps. (I will explain later.)
Effective speed reading training
Next, I would like to introduce some effective training methods to enable speed reading.
Read carefully and then speed read
I think it’s quite difficult to read a long English sentence at first sight suddenly.
Therefore, first read all the long sentences carefully so that you can understand the grammar, words, and meanings of the sentences.
Next, practice reading it as quickly as possible.
Even speed reading training from a state where you can read carefully in advance and understand the meaning is still effective as it is the same as practice reading sentences quickly.
By continuing this, you will get into the habit of reading English faster, and as a result, you can expect that even the first long English sentences will be read faster than before.
As mentioned above, to be able to read quickly, you can read English in the English word order.
You need the ability to be captured in chunks of multiple words.
Slash reading is a well-known practice for making these things possible.
Slash reading is a method of reading with a slash in order to separate by a block of meaning.
It’s easier to read if there are a lot of slashes, but reading speed will be faster if you can catch it in a larger chunk.
Depending on your level, it’s a good idea to practice speed reading while gradually reducing the number of slashes.
If you practice this method, even those who cannot read English without looking back at the moment will be able to read it smoothly in the English word order.
Give time pressure
People can act faster when given time pressure.
The idea is that this phenomenon can also be applied to speed reading.
For example, if you finish reading a well-read English article in 3 minutes, then the same article should be read within 2 minutes 50 seconds, within 2 minutes 40 seconds, within 2 minutes 30 seconds, and so on. By practicing as if you were updating the time, you will be able to read English faster.
It is also effective to use a smartphone app that has a function to automatically scroll English articles according to the setting speed.
If you don’t read fast, you won’t be able to keep up with the scrolling articles, so you will be conscious of reading fast, and as a result, your reading ability will be improved.