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Speed Reading Tips - How to Avoid Subvocalization

November 11, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 336

Definition of speed reading:

Adopting a fairly wide stance on the exact meaning of "speed reading," I view it as any reading speed of about 500 WPM (words per minute) or faster, up to about 2000 WPM at which point I imagine enjoying or recalling the text becomes near impossible for the majority of English-speaking humans.

By way of reference, my comfortable and regular reading speed is about 600 to 700 WPM, and all my life teachers, students, family and friends have had difficulty believing that I've actually read the (article/book/assignment etc) at that speed, so based on popular perception I would definitely peg 650 WPM as speed reading.

I have also learned from Ace Reader Pro speed reading software to push up to 1100-1200 WPM if necessary (which has been useful for college reading, personal reading, critical reading sections on standardized tests like the SAT or the ACT, research, and business). I'll say more about Ace Reader Pro later on.

Definition of subvocalization:

Subvocalization is essential "silent speech," your internal dialogue as you read to yourself. We all subvocalize in our own personal way when we read.

Subvocalizing is both good and bad - it's good in one way, because having a dialogue between yourself and the text is important for understanding and remembering what you've just read. However, subvocalization should be avoided or minimized in cases when it prevents speed reading.

The most harmful versions of subvocalization are those that involve larger muscle movements - for example, if you are obviously mouthing most of the words as you read. This slows your reading speed down to the rate of your physical speech.

Speech, or "vocalization," is much slower at communicating ideas and details than reading can be at understanding those ideas. Therefore, any significant level of subvocalization that ties reading speed to speaking speed must be avoided.

If you currently use excessive subvocalization, but want to learn to speed read, you will need to practice to retrain your mind in this basic skill. Because you have likely practiced the "wrong way" for so long, it's going to take a little bit of effort and time to nail down a more efficient and effective form of reading - almost like learning to walk again.

Luckily, it's not very hard - it just takes practice. I've got two suggestions. One is something you can practice, and one is a software program that uses modern technology to easily and quickly defeat subvocalization and improve your reading abilities to help you learn speed reading.

Application of subvocalization to reading improvement:

Now that we know why we should avoid excessive subvocalization if we want to be speed readers...'s how we can apply our new knowledge of subvocalization.

If you have trouble fighting the urge to mentally or physically "say" words out loud as you read, here's an exercise for you.

Pick a moderate-level text that is comfortable for your reading abilities. Now, pick a short, simple word that you enjoy. I love the color blue, so my word is "Blue!"

Now, practice reading the words of the text with your eyes as you mentally repeat "blue... blue... blue..." in your head (make sure not to mouth the word "blue" as you read, or you're just reinforcing a new bad habit!)

If you start moving your mouth, lips, or jaw, take a moment's rest, then try again. If you need to change the word after a while, that is fine.

This method can help you permanently avoid subvocalization with about a month's practice of an hour a day.

Ace Reader Pro subvocalization improvement software:

Well, I promised you a speed reading software review that helps avoid subvocalization. Ace Reader Pro is the best reading improvement software I've used in all my years as a student and educator. It also comes highly recommended from various sources.

Built into Ace Reader Pro are some excellent and effective visual aids to help you decrease your subvocalization and even help you improve your "regression" skills - which is a whole other speed reading topic! (Basically "regression" is any unnecessary re-reading that lowers your reading WPM) Ace Reader Pro is even kind of fun for a purely educational program!

Read the complete Ace Reader Pro review through the link below!

Get the complete Ace Reader Pro review at my website!

Christian Heath is a professional SAT prep tutor with a perfect score of 2400 on the SAT. He is also the author of an SAT prep website.

Source: EzineArticles
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