Too often people think that speed reading, if not a myth, is either a natural gift few possess or something only proficient readers desire—to be just a little faster. The truth is, there are reading techniques that can increase your reading speed, without sacrificing comprehension.
Reading and writing are basic skills people need in today’s world, and while they are foundational components of every student’s education, many people struggle in these areas.
Reading is arguably more important than writing, in the sense that one may not often need to convey information in a formal written manner. However, one will most likely have to read what others say on a vast variety of topics. In other words, it’s more likely that a person could “get by” without having to be a skilled writer, than it is that they could “get by” without being a trained reader.
We all read and write more than we think we do. Many cognitive scientists agree that neither reading nor writing are natural human tasks, but between the two, reading becomes more natural, as we read things without even noticing: billboards, instructions, product labels, social media posts, etc. Writing requires attention and effort. Reading seems to just start happening once the tools are in place.
Given all of this, many people struggle to read, and comprehend, material. Studies place the average American reader around a 7th-8th grade reading level. This basically means that the average person can read a novel with a handful of characters and maybe a few simultaneous plot lines. In turn, most newspapers and media write at a 5th-7th grade level.
But, for anyone trying to advance in today’s market place, education is crucuial; and for anyone wanting to advance in academics, reading is crucial. The average reading ability may not cut it!
There is hope for you to become a faster and a more engaged reader. Even better news, these goals may come as a package deal, along with increased vocabulary, and better writing skills.
Recently a friend of ours had a chance to talk to Marc Slater, entreprenuer and computer programmer, and head of eReflect.com. Slater has developed several well-respected software programs to improve students’ study skills. Slater claims to have created software to better students’ vocabulary, spelling, typing, and reading.
Join us in our interview with Marc Slater to separate fact from fiction regarding tools and expectations for becoming a more well-equipped reader.