Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Speed Reading

on June 12, 2012

We are going to practice speed reading in the next class. Please watch this VIDEO then, in the comments, tell us something you learned.

While you read The Curious Incident pages 156-178, please keep a record of the characters and write the answers to the following questions in your journal.

1. Why doesn’t Christopher like Uncle Terry?

2. Why can’t Christopher be an astronaut?

3. Why does he decide to ask a lady (not a man) where the train station is?

4. Why is it difficult for him to be in a new place?

5. Predict what you think will happen next.

Also, don’t forget to do your book review 😉  (If you don’t come to class, leave the book and the review sheet in the box in front of my office, #629)


15 responses to “Speed Reading

  1. JayztheSwagger says:


    I was surprised that we’re sending signals to the larynx even when we’re not vocalizing what we’re reading. When I teach Speed reading to my cousin, I try j

    • JayztheSwagger says:


      Anyways, when I taught my cousin how to speed read I made her break the habit of reading it out loud and thought that was enough…apparently I was wrong. Didn’t even think that we’re unconsciously subvocalizing words. AH-MAAA-ZING!

      • JayztheSwagger says:

        …I was surprised “by the fact” that…

        Wow I’m terrible today. Sorry yall. Must be the rain.

  2. Kei Inamura says:


    I didn’t know that I was sending signals to some part even when not speaking, and therefore the reading speed was decreased.

    I counted how many words I could read in a minute and it was 143.
    I will try the method in the video and see what happens to my reading skill. =P

  3. Takumi Nakanishi says:

    It is often said that in order to be a speed-reader it is necessary to eliminate subvocalization and understand given information only by looking at (seeing?) words. I practiced that when I was a high school student, but to no avail. Almost my effort ended in futility.. probably. Actually, I can’t conclude the practice was completely futile, because I felt I became a little faster reader after that. That might have been placebo effect, though.
    Anyway, I hope I’ll become able to read faster in your next class. I might be killed by a Russian examination tomorrow, though.

  4. Shogo Inoue says:

    When I lived in Australia I went to a speed reading class but, I didn’t improve much. It might have been because I didn’t put enough effort. I didn’t know that when we look at a word we first send a signal down to the larynx and vocalizes the word than it transmits it to the brain. We need to read with the eye and transmit it directly to the brain to read fast.
    I hope I could improve my reading speed at the next class.

  5. Wataru Okubo says:

    What I learned from the video is that the point of speed reading is getting rid of inner voice that we unconsciously make when we read. According to him, making irrelevant, rhythmical sounds may help us avoid it. I think this method works in whatever language and I hope I’ll be able to do it in Urdu in the near future, which I still struggle with memorizing the sound of words. But, The Cather in the Rye in ten minutes? How can it be possible?
    Other than the method in the video, I can read smoothly and fast when listening to the monotonous sound of a train or heavy rain (fortunately or unfortunately, we’ll have many chances next week). I wondered if this gives some similar effect on reading. Even though some may not agree, sometimes I can also concentrate on reading while listening to music.
    However, practically speaking, I think the reading speed highly depends on the content. What decelerates my reading is sentences that are too difficult to understand even in Japanese, with a lot of proper nouns, written in an unfamiliar style, like the setting is in medieval Turkey (a long time ago and different background), and so on. So I’d like to know how to handle this, too.
    Well, I look forward to learning speed reading in the next class and hope it helps to clean up my piled-up assignments.

  6. Ayumi Sugaya says:

    I didn’t know that we take three steps to understand words we read ; look at the word, sending some signals to larynx, and describe a picture of it in our mind. When I read English silently, I pronounce each word in my head although I don’t do it deliberately. What I learned from the video is that I should cut this process if I want to read faster.
    In the video, he recommends us to read a passage with utterancing irrelevant rythmic words.
    I think making my reading speed faster while not lowering my level of understanding is very difficult, but I hope I will be able to get some knacks of speed reading in the next class.

  7. Masato Kurosawa says:

    I’ve read several textbooks about Speed-Reading in Japanese before. After reading through them, I learned some techniques to read fast, for example, to visualize sentences, as the video suggested, and to widen one’s focus area. However, it is much more difficult to do than just to know these technical things! I think the most important thing for us to do in order to be a Speed Reader is to practice every day and day until we find we are still Speed Readers. Anyway “aeiou” and “12345” practice methods seem to be fun for me. I hope i could be a better reader!

  8. Satomi Togari says:


    The video teaches us how to do accelerated reading which will help us read books faster and possibly enjoy them more.
    Usually when we read, the eye sends a signal of a certain
    word to the larynx, or the “voice box”. The larynx voices the word (but it doesn’t have to be audible) and sends the signal up to the brain. The brain then visualizes it the word, in other words gives us a picture of the word in our minds. This is the process of normal reading, but speed reading skips the larynx part all together and directly sends signals to the brain through our eyes.
    The average person reads 125 to 250 words per minute, but if your WPM is over this number,
    you are already unconsciously practicing speed reading.
    With training, anyone can read 500-1000 words per minute while comprehending and visualizing the passages.
    The exercise is simple; while reading, you voice a simple(and totally random) set of sounds such as vowels or numbers, and this will enable you to see the entire picture instead of just a set of words.

    I don’t think I’ve got the boldness to mutter “AEIOU…AEIOU…” in public, but I guess it’s worth a try!! (maybe in the cafeteria at lunch time.)


  9. Jiin Choi says:

    Hi. This is Jiin.

    I didn’t know even if I don’t speak the word out loud, it is transferred to the brain.Also, it is kind of a surprise for me to know that average person reads 125~250 words in a minute.(It may be about a person who speaks English for his or her mother tongue.)It is unbelievable that I can improve my reading skill just by reading speaking with those kind of meaningless sounds.But I’m not sure this really has an effect to improve my reading skill but it it is ture, I surely wanna use this way!

  10. Mina says:

    I could understand that you could read at high speed if you say aloud something simple like numbers when reading. And it’s because you can avoid pronouncing words, whis prevents speed reading, in this way.
    I have read about speed reading in a Japanese book. It said that you should read not with your mouth but with your eyes. But I didn’t know this interesting technique.

  11. saya says:

    I noticed the same thing when I was studying for the entrance exam and reflecting how I could read fast. Until then, I was unconciouslly pronouncing the text but I tried not to do so. However, I found it difficult to change the way I read at once. I mesured the time with stop watch and repeated the same text again and again then I could eventually read the text witout pronouncing it.
    I thoght of a tip to change the method of reading ;Don’t look at one word but look at 3~5 words at the same time. This will avoid pronouncing each word.

    That was what I could do last year, when I was studying hard but I cannot do it now since nowadays I read less English texts. I am busy studying Chinese!

  12. Shino Yanagimura says:

    i didn’t know i was using my voice even when i am reading silently. and the way to speed read was very interesting and easy to understand although it looks a little difficult at first. i guess i was trying to get what each sentence was trying to say when i was practicing speed reading, but this was not necessary since you just need to get the whole point of the passage itself.

  13. Akira Nemoto says:

    Hi! This is Akira.
    I had heard that looking at sentences as a picture enable you to read much more faster.
    He said you can read “the cather in the rye” in 10minuites using this method. However, I don’t want to read it in such a short time. When you read literature, you need a lot of time to aprreciate. Whether speed reading is necessary or not depends on what kind of materials you read.

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