Speed Reading and Sub Vocalization
Speed reading and subvocalization - Stop talking when you speed read!
Speed reading is not just about reading faster. It's about learning to use much more of the extraordinary powers of your mind.
Subvocalization, or silent speech, is defined as the internal speech made when reading a word, thus allowing the reader to imagine the sound of the word as it is read (Carver 1990). This is a natural process when reading it helps the mind to reduce its cognitive load, grasp meaning, and enable it to comprehend and remember what is read.
There is no evidence that normal non-observable subvocalizing will negatively effect any reading process (Carver 1990)(McWhorter 2002). At the more powerful rates (Memorizing, learning, and reading for comprehension) subvocalizing is very detectable by the reader. At the less powerful faster rates (skimming and scanning), subvocalization is less detectable. For normal competent readers, subvocalizing to some extent even at scanning rates is normal. However, speed reading advocates generally teach lengthy prescriptive practices to eliminate subvocalising when reading as they claim it "places extra burden on the cognitive resources, thus, slowing the reading down." Normal reading instructors may simply apply remedial teaching to a reader who subvocalizes to the degree that they make visible movements on the lips, jaw, or throat (McWhorter 2002).
It may be impossible to totally eliminate subvocalizing because people learn to read by associating the sight of words with their spoken sounds. Sound associations for words are indelibly imprinted on the nervous systems, even of deaf people, as they will have associated the word with the mechanism for causing the sound. Subvocalizing is an inherent part of reading and understanding a word, and micro-muscle tests suggest that subvocalizing is impossible to eliminate. Attempting to stop subvocalizing is potentially harmful to comprehension, learning and memory. At the more powerful reading rates (100-300wpm), subvocalizing can be used to improve comprehension.
Free online flash metronome for exercise "speed reading is not magic". Click here for the Full version...
As you read this line, think about what is going on in your mind. Stop read.
Were you saying the words silently to yourself as you read? This habit of saying the words to yourself while you read is called "subvocalization". While this habit in itself is not the sole cause of slow reading. The "small, still voice" we hear while reading (subvocalization), is natural and is required for all reading below 900 words per minute. The average college graduate reads "basic" level of difficulty material at 250-300 words per minute, with 70% comprehension, therefore they subvocalize until they reach speed reading, which begins at 900 wpm.
Place the text in front of you and make sure you follow these instructions exactly.
Lets start to read using the metronome online training. (<change the '?' to a '.')
Don't forget to say thank you to your brain! It is important congratulate yourself for your achievement. The brain is a great adapter.
The maximum speaking rate is 400 words per minute.¬ If you say the words to yourself (even silently) as you read, you will never be able to read any faster than the maximum speaking rate.¬ This is known as the "subvocalization barrier".
The Speed Reading software can increases your mental processing speed to the point of "synchronization" and breaking the subvocalization barrier, it can also help you attain speeds far beyond what was once considered possible.
Use a pointer to stop vocalization
Using the tip of your finger, the end of a bookmark, or your computer mouse, can rapidly increase your average words per minute. However, using a pointer in the wrong way can significantly decrease your average words per minute. Do not trace under every word with your pointer. A pointer will help you to avoid re-reading passages, because your pointer will not allow you to return to previous phrases. The right way to use a pointer is to trace down the center of the text. This helps train your eye to stay towards the center of the page, and helps decrease points of fixation.¬ ¬ Train yourself to keep your eyes on or near your pointer, and don't let them return to previous lines.¬ This also assists in comprehension, because completing paragraphs sooner allows the entire paragraph to `glom' while in short-term memory.
Related subvocalization articles
See also on this site
When we first learn to read, we tend to speak the words out loud. Some readers never truly lose that habit and even if they donít speak out loud, continue to vocalize the words in their minds. The average speaker talks at 280 words per minute. Therefore if you sub-vocalize every word, this will put a break on how fast you can read. The best way to prevent this is to develop a wider eye span.
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